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Proudly Serving The City Of Heath Since 1951
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The Heath Fire Department has been serving the community and Licking County since 1951. The combination department protects Heath's 12.5 square miles with a staff of 20 full-time firefighter/paramedics, including Chief Warren McCord, an administrative assistant, and volunteer firefighter/EMTs with various certifications. The department operates under the county's Mutual Aid Agreement, assisting all other fire departments in Licking County.

We operate a three-platoon system working 24 hours on and 48 hours off. Each shift is assigned a Captain, Lieutenant, and four firefighter/medics. Heath Fire responds annually to about 3,000 calls for service. Always striving for improvement, Heath currently has an ISO (insurance) rating of 3. In addition to Fire and EMS services, departmental activities also include fire inspections, fire prevention, industrial and commercial fire safety training, a junior fire-setter program, and community CPR training.

Two permanent property tax levies complement the department's income tax-based funding. The Heath Fire Department implemented an EMS Billing Program in October of 2006 wherein program revenues are returned to the City's General Fund.

1952

Heath incorporated into a Village with a population of 900

1953
May 26

New Fire District, containing all of Heath Village, was created. Fire station on Heath Rd served as civic activities and fire protection. Housed one 500-gpm pumper, one 1,000-gallon tanker, and 18 volunteers. Robert Oberfield served as 1st Fire Chief.

1954

Burrel Swartz was named 2nd Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department.

1955

New 750-gpm pumper purchased, and housed at Station 1 on Heath Rd. The old 500-gpm pumper was moved and housed at the village garage.

1956

Harold Van Winkle named 3rd Fire Chief.

1957
April 16

City and County Fire Fighters sign mutual aid contracts.

1958

Addition to the Engine room was completed, doubling its size.

1959

A signal tone system was installed to set off alarms at both the Heath Rd Station and the village garage (which was purchased in 1955 from Robert Geidenberger and housed the old pumper) Later the system was expanded to include alerting radios in each fireman's home.

1962

Fire Station No 2 on Dog Leg Rd was completed

1963

The Ohio Inspection Bureau advised for the second time to purchase an aerial truck. So one was ordered.

1964
April

75-foot snorkel $43,000 was received. Only one hundred snorkel trucks existed in the United States and the only one equal to Heath's snorkel was located in Lorain, Ohio. The nozzle, located in the basket of the truck, was capable of spraying 700 gallons of water per minute in a fog or straight stream.

1965
April 6

Byerlyte Corporation Plant fire. Started with an explosion at 235pm atop one of the storage tanks where 40,000 gal of asphalt mixture was being prepared. A series of 11 more explosions happened rapidly until the fire was blazing 500ft in the air. A dense smoke hovered above the area and a substance similar to molten lava was being spewed onto the ground. Larry Brown, was one of first trucks to the fire, John Markham, Jim Tyson, and Al Lallathin were hanging above the fire to Fire Chief Harold Van Winkle's concern. Six other firemen were stationed between the fire and the naphtha and kerosene tanks and were in danger. The possibility of the tanks exploding created a risk to The Pure Oil Company, Newark Air Force Base, and the entire village. 125 men, 17 apparatus, 7 different departments, and 120 gallons of foam took 5 hours to get the fire under control. Only one fireman was injured from stepping into a pool of hot asphalt he thought was water.

1965
April 28

Heath became Ohio's 196th city, population had increased from 600 to 6066

1966
January 1

The city of Heath began to operate under a new charter with a mayor-council form of government.

1967

The fire department started its first Emergency Squad Service with the purchase of a GMC van-type squad.

1968

Richard Padar was named 4th Fire Chief

1970

A full-time fire department was established., a 2,000 gpm pumper was purchased as well as a Chevy Suburban to be used as a squad unit.

1971

Richard Padar became first paid Fire Chief 4-6-71 TO 2-25-94

1972

The department purchased another pumper for fires, this time a 1,750 gpm pumper.

1974

Fire department Ladies Auxillary formed to perform social events and conduct fundraising.

1976

Heath Volunteer Fire department recognized 25 years of service, and purchased another emergency squad unit.

1978

A full-time division of the fire department was established in the spring. And through out the 70s they added new emergency equipment, such as Engine 5, a 1970 American LaFrance 2000 gpm pumper.

1978
October

The city entered into a fire protection agreement with the residents of Forest Hills and Newark.

1978
October 7

Freight train derails near Heath

1979

The Fire department went to part paid personnel and part volunteer.

1980

Full-time firefighters were added. (5 full-time in department)

1981

Purchased another new pumper

1983

Purchased a new emergency squad

1986

The original Snorkel truck was refurbished.

1989

The a one-mill, five year protection levy was approved by voters and funds were set aside solely for upgrading the department's equipment, and the Number 5 Pumper was refurbished.

1991

The 1955 Engine was retired.

1994

Rick Taylor became Fire Chief 02-26-94 TO 11-04-1999, and the department purchased a Medical Emergency Vehicle

1996

The department received a $12,000 State Grant for new EMS equipment and training. Initiation of an improved training system was implemented for EMT's. Land for a new Fire Station #2 was aquired.

1997
March

Final plans were approved for two new stations: Fire Station No. 1 on Heath Rd., and Fire Station No. 2 on Blackfoot Trl.

1997
May

A 1.5-mill property tax levy was placed on the ballot to help fund equipment and new personnel to man the two stations. Residents voted in favor of the levy.

1997
March 6

A 1994 Squad was leased to the City of Heath for $1 per year by the Licking CountyPort Authority with the option to purchase the vehicle after 2 years.

1998
November

A 1-mill renewal levy was placed on the ballot to purchase fire equipment and residents voted in favor of it as well.

1998

Fire Department quadrupled in personnel, new fire truck's were purchased, including a chief's vehicle, emergency squads, and a rescue-pumper. A crash truck was received from Port Columbus to service the local airport, and a foam trailer, capable of discharging 5,000 plus gallons per minute of solutions on flammable liquid fires, were also added. The department aquired new computer technology and fire department management software. Thermal imagers were aquired to help search for survivors in smoke filled rooms, and the Knox Box Rapid Entry System became part of new commercial and industrial building ventures. The old Station #2 on Dog Leg Rd was transfered to the City's Street Department.

1999

Mark Huggins became Fire Chief 11-5-99 TO 1-15-16, and a new pumper and crash truck were purchased

2003

The fire department purchased a million dollar Pierce Dash 100 ft. skyarm (TWR51) which was finanace by the 1-mill fire levy that was passed in 1998.

2016

Warren McCord became Fire Chief 1-16-16 to present.

2016

New Chief's vehicle, 2016 Cheverolet Tahoe, and a new Rescue Engine, the 2016 Pierce Saber Pumper, were purchased.

2017

Two medics were replaced with 2017 Horton Ambulances, and the Annex building was built behind Station 51.

2017-2018

Improved our ISO rating from 4 to 3.

2018

A Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck was purchased for use by the Captains.

2018

A full-time, 40-hour, Fire Inspector position was recreated and Captain Jamie Bunn was named Fire Inspector. The department had been without a full-time inspector since Rick Taylor had moved up from the position to Fire Chief in 1994.

2020
March

The department created a full-time position for an Administrative Assistant to the Fire Chief. The COVID pandemic shut down schools and businesses. Very shortly after, there was a historical flood of the Licking River and residents had to be evacuated with the help of Heath Fire, Heath Police, other mutual aid, and Heath City Schools Transportation department, to Indian Mound Mall where the Red Cross was there to help. During the evacuations the Prevention vehicle (2010 Dodge Charger) was caught in the flash flood, and was replaced with a 2017 Nissan Rogue.

2020
June

With the help of the Cares Act, the department was able to purchase a decon machine for each station as well as a new medic, 2020 Ford F450, to use primarily for the purpose of responding to potential or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

2020

The reserve medic, 1996 Horton 4600 International, was retired.

2021

In the spring of 2021, the department purchased a new 2021 Pierce Pumper, and old Engine 51, 1992 Pierce Pumper, was retired.

2021

In the fall of 2021, the department got back into department trainings, external trainings, community events, and inspections, that were stopped because of the COVID pandemic.

2021

Fall of 2021 to Spring of 2022, the Food Pantry Network used Station 51 on Heath Rd. throughout the winter, on Fridays, to serve the community.

2022
May 12

Youth in Government Day - Lunch at Heath Fire Department Station 51 on Heath Rd.

2022

Training and Inspections are back in full force after being canceled and slowly reintroduced after the COVID Pandemic.