Fire Department Overview
The Mount Vernon Fire Department was established in 1849. The first paid firefighters were appointed in 1891. Initially, there were three fire stations located at the intersection of Mansfield Avenue and Curtis Street, on West Vine Street between Mechanic Street and West Street, and on North Gay Street between the Methodist and Episcopal churches. In 1914, the City closed two of the stations and concentrated its equipment and workforce to the Gay Street location. The fire department was moved to the Northeast corner of Public Square in 1918 so that better access to the entire city could be obtained.
In the late 1950’s it became apparent that the facility on Public Square was no longer sufficient to house the fire department. Plans were implemented to build a new station. In 1965, the fire department was relocated to 207 West Ohio Avenue into a building that was once a boat sales agency. The building was heavily damaged in the flood of 1959, but updates were made and the facility was repaired so that it could house the apparatus and manpower.
With the railroad traffic that was prevalent at the time, a second fire station was needed in the South end of the City. The Elmwood fire station was built on Ames Street in 1967. The fire department operated out of these two buildings until 2000 when the new facility located at 200 West Gambier Street was completed and able to be utilized.
Today, the Mount Vernon Fire Department employs 40 people housed in the two locations mentioned above. The department offers fire suppression, emergency medical care, fire prevention, and public information services to the citizens of Mount Vernon.
From the Chief’s Desk
The emergency call volume in 2012 was the highest that the Mount Vernon Fire Department (MVFD) has ever recorded. The MVFD answered 5,002 calls. Over 85% of these calls were EMS runs which generated a collected $752,124 from EMS billing. The overall call volume increased from 2011 by 4.6%.
Although the MVFD realized the aforementioned increase in run volume, members of the department still participated in many hours of training, public relation events, hydrant maintenance, and fire prevention activities. The MVFD is committed to challenging its efficiency and proficiency in which it delivers our services to the community. It is only by completing these extra tasks that we may keep this commitment to excellence.
Two vacancies created by retirements were filled as MVFD added two new members to our family. One of the individuals that retired in 2011 held the rank of Captain. His vacancy created a need for MVFD to administer a Captain’s exam and a subsequent Lieutenant’s exam in order to provide the proper avenue for the needed promotions. Captain Christopher and Lt. Burke were both sworn in to their respective positions and marked the finalization of filling the vacancy created by the retirement in 2011.
Regarding the budget, MVFD operated on $4.34 million with 93% of the overall spending utilized for personnel and expenses. Large ticket items purchased in 2012 included a new Life Pak 15, various personal protective equipment, new fire attack nozzles, and replacement air bottles. The most significant purchase centered on our records management process. A new computer server and software package was added to our inventory. With this software upgrade, more efficient records could be prepared and kept that outline every activity and service provided by our department. Budget appropriations were mandated to equal that of those appropriated in 2009. Each expenditure was scrutinized heavily in order to spend where it was absolutely necessary so we could reduce the amount of impact the purchase would have on the ever shrinking balance of funds that was left from the difference of 2009 appropriations and the 2012 personnel costs.
Highlights in public relations for the year included the first time participation in the community’s Relay for Life campaign, another successful Toys for Tots drive, and the first annual MVFD Awards Ceremony. Each event was embraced by members of the department and further developed our department’s sense of pride.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time” (Abraham Lincoln). The MVFD looks forward to progress and development and embraces the changes that each day brings.
Chief Christopher Menapace