Fire Department history
About the year 1889 several public-spirited citizens of West Milton, realizing the necessity of protection to the lives and property of the village, organized a fire department known as the West Milton Fire Company. In1890, a constitution and by-laws were drafted and approved. The officers and members consisted of 29 men, the officers being First Chief – T. P. Vore; Second Chief – D. W. Engle; and Third Chief – W. S. Smith.
The equipment at the time consisted of a chemical engine with the usual accessories of a small town. Mind you, that equipment was not motorized nor drawn by fiery steeds but by husky firemen who responded to alarms. The chemical apparatus was later replaced with a hand pumper, operated from either side by firemen or anyone who wished to assist and a great deal of excellent service was rendered with this piece of equipment. At about the same time this apparatus was in use, a ladder wagon was built by a local firm of King and Willoughby. This was also hand drawn and was used for several years.
In 1902 the Waterworks system was completed; the old hand pumper was set aside and a new and modern hose cart was placed into service, this also being hand drawn. This served for some years until it was upset several times, then the firemen became dissatisfied and wanted something different. In order to raise money, the firemen held ice cream socials, clay bird shoots, solicited donation, and their wives helped through baked goods sales. From the money they raised they purchased a Model T Ford. This was completed at a cost of $1,800.00. The mounting consisted of 1,000 foot hose bed, one chemical tank and ladder rack – a wonderful piece of equipment at that time.
Fast forward to 2022. The West Milton Fire Department / West Milton Fire Company provides excellent service to West Milton and Union Township. Our 35 firefighter roster is led by Chief David Jay, Assistant Chief Nathan Dewey, Captain David Kakos, 1st Lt. Dustin Jay, and 2nd Lt. David Manning and 2nd Lt. Shane Eshelman. West Milton Fire Department employs state-of-the-art equipment, including two (2) engines, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1-105 foot ladder truck, 1-3,500 gallon tanker, 1 grass truck and 1 support utility vehicle. West Milton Fire also has a mobile air unit and mobile light tower. The department owns various rescue equipment including battery operated extrication equipment and 2 thermal cameras.