On September 10, 1915 the citizens of Greendale met at Council Hall to discuss and implement fire protection for the town. The historic minutes of that meeting are as follows:
A large number of citizens of the town of Greendale met in Council hall for the purpose of organizing a volunteer fire department in said town.
John Abraham served as temporary chairman and called the meeting to order.
Officers were elected as follows:
- President: George E. Millers
- Vice President: William Hunter
- Treasurer: Frank Ludlow
- Secretary: Omar J.D. Elder
After permanent organization was effected they proceeded to elect the following fire officers:
- Chief: John Hassmer
- Assistant Chief: John Abraham
A committee, composed of George E. Willers, Leopold Schindler, William Hunter, George Dietrich, John Abraham, Frank A. Ludlow, and Omar J.D. Elders, appointed at a meeting of the Board of Town Trustees on September 10,1915 for the purpose of drawing of Constitution and By-Laws to govern the organization, was request to have said Constitution and By-Laws, if possible, by September 20, 1915 wherein another meeting of the entire organization will be held. Meeting adjourned.
George E Miller, President
Omar J.D. Elders, Secretary
A committee was immediately appointed to create a constitution and by-laws. Ten days later on September 20,1915 the constitution and by laws were voted on and passed by unanimous decision. Greendale Fire Department was officially organized. These men became our founding fathers.
Unlike today, Greendale Fire Department was originally divided into three separate companies. The locations of these companies were as follows:
- Company #1 was at the west end of Kansas Street.
- Company #2 was at the west end of Probasco.
- Company #3 was at the east end of Oakey Avenue.
Each company contained around 16 members and was led by a Captain and Lieutenant, who reported to the Fire Chief. Each company consisted of nothing more than a metal clad building which housed a horse drawn cart loaded with fire hoses and equipment.
The A.D. Cook company, which was located on Brown Street, was a maker and supplier of deep well pumps. They provided the water pressure for the department through the town's water mains. In addition, the Company's steam whistle was utilized as an alarm system to alert the Fireman of a fire. The town was divided into four zones and each zone was identified by a specific number of whistle blasts. However, by the mid thirties, this system had become ineffective due to the expansion of the town. It was replaced a fire siren that was installed at Schenley Distillery.
In September of 1936 the three companies met for the last time. It was then decided to combine the companies into a new single department. John Abraham was elected as their Chief. About the same time, a new fire station at 488 Ludlow was being completed and the department took delivery of a new Athens Fox 600 GPM pumper. The total cost of both the building and pumper was $21,750.
Since our beginning in 1915, our town, and now our City, of Greendale has been protected by 5 stations, 13 pieces of fire equipment, 4 ambulances, and 6 Chiefs. Greendale has been privileged with many dedicated firefighters and EMT's who are willing to volunteer their time and efforts to see that the citizens of Greendale and all who pass through her are afforded the best fire and emergency medical services possible.