Fire truck Driver on Duty 24 Hours Beginning June 16, 1958.
Beginning on Monday June 16, 1958, the Dayton Fire Department, for the first time, had a full-time paid firefighter on duty 24 hours a day. At the time, the fire department was located in the City Hall building, which was located on West Main Street, next to the old post office. The photo above shows the building as it appeared when it was constructed in the early 1930s. It would go on to be used until 1977. They hired the two new drivers according to Commissioner George Barnard, the head of the fire and police departments, with the schedule of working 24 hours on and 24 hours off. They hired a third man to act as a relief for the two firemen and also to relieve the three-man police force. They provided sleeping quarters at the fire hall for the driver. They installed a telephone at the fire hall and the siren was to be used to announce the general area of the fire to alert the volunteer firefighters. Commissioner Barnard announced the selection of Bill Keylon and Robert Morgan out of 12 applications for the new full-time firefighter positions in the town of Dayton.. W.O. Patton accepted the position as the fire and police department relief man. The very first mention of a fire department in Dayton came in 1892 seven years after Dayton got its first charter in 1885. The Howe Pump and Engine Company sent a correspondence to the Mayor of Dayton, informing him that the new horse-drawn hand cart fire engine had been shipped and would arrive in a few days. The new City Hall, Police and Fire building on Main Street was used until 1977 when the new Police and Fire complex was built on Market Street. They added a station in the Industrial Park back in approx 2010-2012. Today Dayton Fire Chief Justin Jackson supervises an Asst. Fire Chief and twelve full-time firemen along with a crew of approx. 20 paid on call volunteer firefighters. The department has three pumper trucks, two aerial ladder trucks, and one rescue truck. Commissioner George Barnard, who in 1958 was very supportive of the new fire department, tragically died in a house fire on south Market Street in 1960.
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