TED "HUNKER" FRANCISCO II
Information and History by Past Fire Chief Doug Ebright
The North Baltimore Fire Department was organized in 1877 with B.L. Peters, the town’s founder, as foreman. Originally, the department consisted of a bucket brigade, equipped with a wagon for the buckets and a hook and ladder.
Following the purchase of a larger wagon and additional equipment in 1882, the department was renamed the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company with I.M. Justice as chief engineer.
In 1891, the Fire Department was composed entirely of volunteers. While the chief was paid $100 a year for administrative and organizational tasks, the other firefighters were paid only when answering a fire call. As a result, the volunteers had no incentive to attend training meetings, and absenteeism at the biweekly meetings was a constant problem.
Officers were elected by the membership, but confirmed by the city council. Individuals wishing to become firemen submitted an application and were accepted into the organization by vote of the membership. Men were voted out of the organization for various reasons, the most common being failure to participate in training meetings.
In 1891, on the eve of the great fire, the North Baltimore Fire Department, under the direction of Fire Chief Willick, consisted of two fire companies: the Buckeye Hose Company and the older Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. To improve fire protection, the Buckeye Hose Company was organized in 1890 when two additional hose carts were purchased by the town council. Led by Foreman H.T. Newman, the Buckeye Fire Company had twenty-eight members in October 1891.
The Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, which also had about twenty-eight members, was led by Foreman I.W. Tarr.
Additional Fire Chief’s were Lee Crouse, Frank Paden, Bill Crouse, and Don Baltz. Doug Ebright took over August 2009. The current Fire Department has twenty-eight members, and can have, according to the by-laws, up to thirty-two members.
As of October, 2010, the Fire Department has 28 members with several applicants applying for a position within the department. To become a Volunteer Fire Fighter, an applicant must complete 36 hours of training, and pass a standard Ohio Department of Public Safety test, and have 18 hours of continuing education per year or 54 hours in three years or lose their certification card, and no longer be considered a volunteer fire fighter in the State of Ohio.