Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department
The City of Bellevue, Kentucky, had almost 400 residents when it ended up being included March 15, 1870. The town’s very first fire company had been known as Peerless and ended up being found behind the school at Center and Lafayette. It acquired the city’s first fire equipment: a man-powered hose and reel. Soon, two extra fire companies had been put in operation. One was called Summit, found within Balke Opera House at Berry and Fairfield, additionally the other had been called Centers, situated from the west part of O’Fallon, simply south of Fairfield Avenue. Each of the three fire businesses were manned by over 30 people, so that the rivalry to battle fires was tough. Competitions and competitions had been held regularly and enhanced the antagonism of the organizations. Sooner or later all three organizations taken care of immediately fires with man-powered hose pipe and reels.
In 1900, aided by the procurement of its first horse-drawn equipment, the Bellevue City Council purchased a hose and ladder wagon for volunteer firemen, although city lacked money for a horse to pull the truck. As firefighters have done throughout record, Bellevue’s bravest improvised. When an alarm seemed, the firefighters would commandeer the first horse around the corner, unhitch the pet from the wagon he had been pulling and use him on fire truck. Some horse proprietors were thought to provide struggle during this rehearse in fear of injury to the animal. More regularly, the horse would object by rearing, kicking and snorting.
During The Early 1900s, the city bought one trash collection truck and a horse to pull it known as “Dobbin.” Ole’ Dobbin had been assigned double duty. Whenever a fire security arrived in, the horse will be intercepted on his trash collection rounds, unhooked and galloped to the fire section become hitched on fire truck.
In 1918, Bellevue’s City Offices plus the fire departments relocated into Fraternal Hall on Taylor Avenue. Today, motor energy became a real possibility when it comes to division because of the acquisition of an Ahrens Fox 500 gpm pumper. The town organized to pay a fire chief and two full time firemen. Aided by the paid fireman managing most alarms and tasks, many volunteers started drifting out of the division. An insurance policy had been later created that whenever the fire security bell sounded, the chief would ask bystanders to help combat the fire. Each person making help had been paid $2.00 by the city for his or her efforts. In 1920, a moment 500 gpm pumper had been bought.
This technique of asking bystanders to aid in firefighting had been used until 1934 once the importance of more sufficient fire protection was recognized. The Bellevue Volunteer Fire division ended up being reorganized additionally the very first meeting was held in Bellevue City Hall on October 10, 1934. Chosen as officers were: Louis Wielert – President, Bill Walker – Vice President, and Simon Uth, Jr. – Secretary/Treasurer. During the conference, paid fireman, Ray Yelton, mentioned just how to phone the Covington Fire Tower for assistance from other departments.
In 1936, the volunteer firefighters bought a pre-owned fire vehicle from Cheviot, Ohio fire department for $175. The apparatus proved valuable next year since the 1937 flooding cut the City of Bellevue into two parts. Many members voluntarily worked 24 hour duty shifts through the flood, which was followed with several times and nights of pumping liquid from flooded basements while the flooding seas receded. By 1939, the main benefit of a first class volunteer fire division ended up being obvious while the division flourished with more than 60 energetic volunteer members.
In 1940, through years of fundraisers, the volunteers made an advance payment on a brand new 750 gpm Ahrens Fox pumper that has been purchased for $8, 900. The fire truck bought early in the day in 1936 was offered to Crescent Springs Fire Department. The Ahrens Fox pumper was considered one of many best in state for a city of its size. Chief James Federed, Ray Yelton and William Dugan had been compensated firefighters at this time. Ray Yelton also served a few terms as Fire Chief whenever Chief Federed retired. In March 1970, the membership delivered Ray Yelton with a gold lifetime member badge for their solution dating back into the very early 1900’s. It was claimed that Mr. Yelton ended up being the driver of the horse drawn gear in 1917.
In 1944, a hose pipe tower to dry and protect the cotton hose pipe ended up being constructed during the fire section on Poplar Street and a fire siren had been acquired to summon volunteers in the event of crisis. A Buffalo 750 gpm pumper was bought for $15, 000 in 1946. The department was also pleased to announce that at the time of 1949, both of these pumper trucks had been built with brand-new Chemox Oxygen Masks to permit firefighters entry into smoke-filled problems also modern equipment, representing a good investment of “well over $35, 000.”