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From Buckets to Diesels - The Story of the Lancaster Volunteer Fire Department

History 2Our well-trained and well-equipped volunteer fire department plays such an important part in village life today that it is quite difficult to believe that there was a time in our history when no regularly-organized body of fire fighters existed, and that protection of persons and property against fire was left, as a rule, to the efforts of a bucket brigade.

Since there were no water mains or fire hydrants in the village until after the great fire of 1896, water for fire fighting came from creeks, ditches, springs, and rain water cisterns. or was laboriously hand-pumped from private wells. The words "totally destroyed", appearing frequently in early fire records, testify grimly to the futile efforts of the gallant but poorly-equipped volunteers who formed a chain from the nearest water supply and attempted to extinguish the flames in blazing buildings with pails of water passed from hand-to-hand.

On June 23, 1849, about three months after the village was incorporated, the electors voted an appropriation of $25.00 "for procuring implements for a hook and ladder company". And, for reasons the minutes of the Village Board do not disclose, a determination by ballot to "appropriate $800 for fire engines and $50.00 for a place to keep same", made May 28, 1859, was rescinded on August 6th of the same year, and the special tax levy for this purpose was repaid to village property owners.


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Historic Companies of the Lancaster Fire Department

1874 - Present | Rescue Hook and Ladder Company #1
1876 - 1881 | Neptune Engine Company
1881 - 1896 | Cayuga Engine Company
1882 | Fuller Hose Company # 1
1885 - Present | Eagle Hose Company
1889 - Present | Citizens Hose Company
1894 - 1896 | Alert Hose Company
1896 - Present | Protective Hose Company
1903 - 1905 | Soemann Hose Company
1904 | Lancaster Chemical Company # 1

1874 - 2016 | Past Chiefs of the Lancaster Fire Department

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North End Fire Station | Built 1913

Used by the Citizens Hose Company, the North End Fire Station was moved from Central Avenue to West Drullard Avenue in 1950.

The CHC used the building until 1968 when it was torn down after construction of the present station on West Drullard Avenue.

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Village of Lancaster

Lancaster Office of Emergency Management

S5 Box

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