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
Mount Vernon Fire Department experienced another active year in 2013. We answered a total of 4,501 emergency runs (3,583 EMS and 918 fire). With over 80% of the run volume generated by EMS calls, just over $668,000 was collected from EMS billing; which supplemented the City’s general fund. Although 2013 call volume had decreased from the previous year, we were equally as busy. We participated in many hours of training, public relation events, hydrant maintenance, and fire prevention activities.
Employee staffing changed drastically during 2013. In March, the remaining three Paramedics retired creating room for three new employees. September brought another change, Chief Menapace moved on to be the Assistant Chief for Whitehall Division of Fire. These separations made it possible for two promotions: in March, Leo Swank accepted the position of EMS Coordinator, and Chad Christopher was appointed to Chief in December.
Several large ticket items were purchased throughout the course of the year. Generally, items purchased were for training, patient movement, and rescue equipment to improve the safety of patients/victims and our personnel. Some of the items purchased for fire were turnout gear, digital radios, vehicle stabilizer equipment, water rescue equipment, and Hi-Vis jackets. On the EMS side items included a new training manikin, stair chairs, and backboards. Main Station improvements consisted of both apparatus bays painted.
Highlights in public relations for the year included numerous station tours, hosting a few birthday parties, CPR trainings, car seat installations, fire extinguisher/prevention classes, and going to several safety fairs throughout the community. MVFD’s annual Toys for Tots drive had the most successful year yet. The second annual awards ceremony was held naming Terry Davis Firefighter of the Year. Patrick Hornsby, Dan Rice, Bryan Conant, and Bryan Cantrell were honored for their outstanding work on an EMS call. Each event was embraced by members of the department and further developed our department’s sense of pride.
The Mount Vernon Fire Department looks forward to the challenges that 2014 will bring and is always striving forward to help better serve our community.
Chief Chad Christopher