Fire Department History

Hamilton Township Seal
American Flag & Eagle

On March 31, 1944 the first recorded meeting of Hamilton Township Fire Department was called to order by acting president John E. Lewis. Nominations and elections of officers to serve the Hamilton Township Voluntary Firemen's Organization were recorded as follows:

 

  • President                      J. E. Lewis

  • Vice President              Orin Peck 

  • Treasurer                     C. J. Hann

  • Secretary                     E. P. Copley

  • Sergeant At Arms        L. D. Dowler

 

The organization then selected D. M. 'Jack' Jones as fire chief. Trustees of the organization were Wilbur Helsel, Howard Hahn, William Dern and Fred Stewart.

 

Hamilton Township's first fire station was constructed at 50 Obetz Avenue by dedicated volunteers. The first two fire trucks were purchased through a government lend/lease program at a price of $917.74 plus the pump which cost $645.00 for a total of $1562.74. Chief Jones spent many long hours assembling the trucks, which were operable by October 9, 1944.

 

The organization was funded through homecomings, street fairs, raffles and dances; and hard work by many made the fire department what it is today.

 

In 1953 the trustees purchased Hamilton Township's first 'store bought' fire truck, a GMC Seagraves. On May 3, 1956, the Hamilton Township Trustees purchased ground at 1460 Obetz Rd to build a new fire station. By this time the fire department had grown and could not house all of it's equipment. The station was dedicated on October 12, 1958.

 

On June 8, 1960, the Hamilton Township Trustees hired three full-time firefighters. They were Paul Stimpfle, Walter Van Gundy and Charles Adkins. On October 12, 1960, Chief Jones resigned for business reasons and Paul Stimpfle was appointed fire chief, with Van Gundy and Adkins serving as assistant chiefs. They were the first to work a 24/48 schedule.

 

The first fire levy was passed on November 3, 1959, enabling the trustees to pay them as full-time employees. On February 11, 1966, the Hamilton Township Trustees hired another full-time firefighter; Earl Hayes. Hayes worked a 10am - 6pm schedule. November 22, 1974 Roger Stimpfle was hired to replace the retiring Charles Adkins. 

 

February 12, 1975 saw three new full-time employees; Ed Wikoff, Gary McDonald and Jerry Lupfer, who worked a 24/48 schedule. On May 14, 1977, Ralph Shillingburg was hired to replace the retiring Walter Van Gundy.

 

Mark Huggins replaced Ed Wikoff, who resigned in 1978; and Fred Altevogt replaced Mark Huggins after his resignation on September 12, 1979. James Deal was hired to replace the retiring Gary McDonald, and Jack Legg was hired as an additional full-time employee. Earl Hayes retired in 1981 and Paul Welsh took his place. October 31, 1987 Chief Stimpfle retired and the trustees appointed Jerry Lupfer as the fire chief.

 

In 1990 the first paramedic unit was placed into service with three paramedics on each shift, giving Hamilton Township 24 hour EMS coverage. Also in 1990, the full-time firefighters of Hamilton Township joined the International Association of Fire Fighters, local 3344.

 

On June 26, 1993, station 172 was built at 6400 Lockbourne Rd using community block grants. In 1993, Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to 1,330 EMS runs and 319 fire runs, as compared to 104 EMS runs and 18 fire runs in 1960!

 

Today, Hamilton Township boasts an insurance ISO rating of 3 as opposed to a 10 from decades earlier. The lower the number, the better the insurance rates are for the community. Hamilton Township offers fire prevention, fire education, fire inspection, underground tank inspection, above-ground tank inspection, haz-mat response, EMS services and, of course, fire suppression services.

 

Hamilton Township Fire Department's average response times have significantly improved over the years to an impressive 4 minutes within Hamilton Township!

 

Fire Chief's:

 

  • 1944-1960   D.M Jack Jones

  • 1960-1987   Paul Stimpfle

  • 1987-2010   Jerry Lupfer

 

First's:

 

  • First squad to operate out of Columbus

  • First department to operate a disaster bus

  • First department outside Columbus to have a pumper/tanker

  • First department outside Columbus to have the 'Jaws of Life'

  • First department to have all paramedics nationally registered

  • First to use community block grants to build a fire station

 

Fund Raisers:

 

  • Street fairs and dances

  • Fish fry

  • Spaghetti dinner

  • Bratwurst tent sale

 

Fire Station List:

 

  • 50 Obetz Ave

  • 1460 Obetz Rd

  • 6400 Lockbourne Rd

 

Equipment List: (to 1992)

 

  • 1939 Dodge Pumper

  • 1939 Dodge Tanker

  • 1939 Ford Squad

  • 1948 GMC Disaster Unit

  • 1950 Ford Box Van

  • 1954 GMC Pumper

  • 1961 Ford Pumper/Tanker

  • 1963 GMC Squad

  • 1963 GMC Grass Truck

  • 1967 Divco Rescue

  • 1957 Ford Chief's Car

  • 1972 Dodge Squad

  • 1974 Dodge Squad

  • 1976 Ford Chief's Car

  • 1978 Ford Squad

  • 1980 Ford Squad

  • 1982 Chevy Squad

  • 1986 Pierce Pumper

  • 1989 Ford Medic

  • 1990 Chevy Chief's Car

  • 1991 Ford Squad

  • 1992 Ford Pick-Up