5827 Highland Road, Highland Heights, OH 44143 • (440) 461-2440, fax (440) 461-9062

Fire Department History

When Highland Heights was sparsely populated, their only means of putting out fires was by "bucket brigade.” Here is a brief timeline of the evolution of our City’s Fire Department

1938
The City purchased a 1915 Packard Twin Six fire truck from Gates Mills. All fires were put out on a volunteer basis.  A siren rang out from the village hall to call in the volunteer fire fighters.

Ordinance No. 150 created a Volunteer Fire Department.

 

1915 Packard Twin Six Fire Truck 1915 Packard Twin Six Fire Truck

1940
Highland Heights had a Fire Chief and 10 members in the Volunteer Fire Department. 

1948
The City’s Volunteer Fire Department grew to 24 members. Members purchased their own uniforms and jackets.  The Department also purchased a flag and staff to put in the village hall.
 Council passed Ordinance 318 providing for an exchange of fire equipment and firemen in case of emergency with the Village of Mayfield Heights, Village of Lyndhurst, City of South Euclid, Village of Gates Mills and Mayfield Village.  The City also purchased a 1942 Chevy Army surplus truck.

1942 Chevy Army Surplus Truck         1942 Chevy Army Surplus Truck

1954
The Fire Department purchased a 1954 General truck.
1954 GMC Fire Truck 1954 GMC Fire Truck

1956
Frank Strumbly was promoted to Fire Chief.

1963
A Seagrave 1000 gpm engine was purchased.

1963 Seagrave Fire Truck 1963 Seagrave Fire Truck

1968
Chief Strumbly was hired as the first full time Fire Department employee.

1974
Union Local 2380 was formed.

1976
The Fire Department started providing EMS services. Department staffing went from eight-hour shifts covering days only, to the current 3 platoon shift with 24-hour coverage.

1977
A Sutphen 1500 gpm engine was purchased.
 1977 Sutphen Fire Truck 1977 Sutphen Fire Truck
1978
A Ford Chateau/Springfield Modular ambulance was purchased.

1982
Edward Bencin was promoted to Fire Chief.

1984
A new City Complex and Fire Department were constructed.

1985
A Ford F350 Road Rescue ambulance was purchased.

1989
The Fire Department began providing paramedic services and a Sutphen 1500 gpm engine was purchased.

1990
A Road Rescue ambulance was purchased.

1989 International/Road Rescue 1989 International/Road Rescue

1995
The Hillcrest area Technical Rescue Team was formed.

1997
A Freightliner Rescue ambulance was purchased.

1998
The position of full time fire prevention/inspection was created, the Hillcrest area Fire Investigation Unit was formed and a Sutphen 1500 gpm rescue engine was purchased.

2001
The Fire Department increased its manning.

2003
An International Rescue ambulance was purchased. The Fire Department purchased it's first of two Thermal Imaging Cameras.

2006
The Fire Department took delivery of a used, 1992 E-One 75' straight stick ladder truck.

2008
Chief Edward Bencin retired in March.