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Oklahoma Inspection Bureau 1941Edmond's Fire Department History

The first Edmond Fire Company was organized in 1903 with John Sumner as Captain. John F. Sumner, who previously served as City Marshall and Cemetery Superintendent, became the first Company Captain. The Fire Department had one aerial ladder truck in 1903, which could carry a hose nozzle to a six-floor building, but still maintained the use of “fire brigade buckets” that were handed from person to person to bring water to the emergency. Early helmets were covered in leather to stand the heat of the blaze.

Beginning in 1904, the first Edmond Fire Station was on Broadway between First and Second streets. During those early days, a fire bell called “Diane” sounded the alarm for the many volunteers in the area to come running. In 1905, after two houses had burned to the ground, the City Council issued an ordinance that every occupant of lots on Broadway were to keep a barrel of water and one peck of salt on hand in case of a fire emergency.

In 1929, Edmond Fire Department acquired its first “horseless” fire truck; the Seagraves pumper, which had modern features like a gasoline powered engine, an oak steering wheel and headlights. The engine cost the fire department a cool $8,750 dollars with a $437.50 trade in of a horse drawn pumper used until its purchase. Charles Steen, the son of Edmond’s first resident John N. Steen served as Fire Chief from 1925 to 1929. The fire station was moved in 1930 into a building which also housed the city hall and police department. This three-in-one building was located where the police station and parking lot are today. “Edmond’s Fire Department is prepared to answer a call in any part of town and be ready to extinguish the blaze in practically the same time that it took to get Edmond’s old fire truck started,” stated the Edmond Sun in that era, adding “Chief Steen is justifiably proud of his boys.”

In 1940, homes in outlying rural areas of Edmond were not guaranteed fire protection. Any rural property owner within a ten mile radius of the fire station had to arrange for the service of having a fire extinguished. At that time, the City Clerk’s office charged rural customers $2.00 for each mile the fire truck had to travel to reach their address. An average cost to have a fire extinguished was fifty-eight dollars, only if arrangements were made ahead of time. Homes that did not plan ahead, and called at the time of a fire, were faced with the difficult reality that the City was not authorized to travel to their rural location. In 1944, a tower was constructed just north of the fire department quarters to create a structure for firefighters to practice drills, dry hoses and to house a new fire alarm siren. The siren sounded loudly so that any willing volunteers in the area to come when emergency arose since many of Edmond’s young fire volunteers in the early forties were being called into the armed forces.

In 1950, the Fire Department consisted of Chief Lothar Smith, four paid firemen, six volunteers and six part-time student volunteers. Two triple combination pumpers with up to 600 gallon tank capacity and the Chief’s car, considered state-of-the-art equipment, was the extent of their equipment at the time.

Until 1971, volunteers made up all or part of the fire fighters in Edmond. For many years, college students who were provided a bed, meals and a place to study, slept in the station to fight any fires that occurred at night. If a fire occurred during the day, the instructors of then Central State College, excused those students immediately. In 1976, after the population explosion had increased over a period of several years, two new fire stations were built. Station No. 1 was built at Second Street and Bauman and Station No. 2 was built at 12th and Broadway at the location of the old city swimming pool.

Seven years later, in 1983, rising to the needs of multiplying housing additions, Station No. 3 was built on West Danforth. In 1994, Station No. 4 was built at 15th Street and I-35.

Fire Department
Chris Denton
Interim Fire Chief

Chris Denton
Deputy Fire Chief - Administration

Jon Neely 
Deputy Fire Chief - Operations

Mike Fitzgerald
Chief of Fire Prevention/Assistant Chief

Brian Davis
Chief of EMS/Assistant Chief

Joe Elam
Chief of Training/Assistant Chief

5300 E. Covell
Edmond, OK 73034
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