You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.
Proudly Serving The City Of Heath Since 1951
You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

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.


Heath incorporated into a Village with a population of 900

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.


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


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.


Harold Van Winkle named 3rd Fire Chief.

April 16

City and County Fire Fighters sign mutual aid contracts.


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


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.


Fire Station No 2 on Dog Leg Rd was completed


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


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.

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.

April 28

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

January 1

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


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


Richard Padar was named 4th Fire Chief


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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

October 7

Freight train derails near Heath


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


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


Purchased another new pumper


Purchased a new emergency squad


The original Snorkel truck was refurbished.


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.


The 1955 Engine was retired.


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


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.


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


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.

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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


Improved our ISO rating from 4 to 3.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.

May 12

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


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

April 28

Retirement of Captain Jamie Bunn and Lieutenant Ralph Swick, both with 25 years of service with the Heath Fire Department.