When Highland Heights was sparsely populated, their only means of putting out fires was by "bucket brigade.” Here is a brief timeline of the evolution of our city’s Fire Department.
The city purchased a 1915 Packard Twin Six fire truck from Gates Mills. All fires were put out on a volunteer basis. A siren rang out from the village hall to call in the volunteer fire fighters.
Ordinance No. 150 created a Volunteer Fire Department.
Highland Heights had a Fire Chief and 10 members in the Volunteer Fire Department.
The city’s Volunteer Fire Department grew to 24 members. Members purchased their own uniforms and jackets. The Department also purchased a flag and staff to put in the village hall.
Council passed Ordinance 318 providing for an exchange of fire equipment and firemen in case of emergency with the Village of Mayfield Heights, Village of Lyndhurst, City of South Euclid, Village of Gates Mills and Mayfield Village. The city also purchased a 1942 Chevy Army surplus truck.
The Fire Department purchased a 1954 General truck.
Frank Strumbly was promoted to Fire Chief
A Seagrave 1000 gpm engine was purchased.
Chief Strumbly was hired as the first full time Fire Department employee.
Union Local 2380 was formed.
The Fire Department started providing EMS services. Department staffing went from 8-hour shifts covering days only, to the current 3 platoon shift with 24-hour coverage.
A Sutphen 1500 gpm engine was purchased.
A Ford Chateau / Springfield Modular ambulance was purchased.
Edward Bencin was promoted to Fire Chief.
Construction of a new city Complex and Fire Department was completed.
A Ford F350 Road Rescue ambulance was purchased.
The Fire Department began providing paramedic services and a Sutphen 1500 gpm engine was purchased.
A Road Rescue International ambulance was purchased.
The Hillcrest area Technical Rescue Team was formed.
A Freighliner/Horton ambulance was purchased.
The position of full-time fire prevention/inspection was created, the Hillcrest area Fire Investigation Unit was formed, and a Sutphen 1500 gpm rescue engine was purchased.
The Fire Department increased its manning from four (4) firefighter/paramedics to five (5).
An International/Horton ambulance was purchased. The Fire Department purchased its first Thermal Imaging Camera.
The Fire Department took delivery of a used, 1992 E-One 75 foot straight stick ladder truck from Mayfield Village.
Chief Edward Bencin retired in March.
Lieutenant Willliam Turner was promoted to Fire Chief in July 2008.
Replaced 1999 pickup truck with new Ford F250 crew cab
Purchased a new International/Horton Ambulance
New Ford Utility vehicle purchased as chase car for EMS calls.
Replaced 1992 E-One Ladder truck with new Sutphen SP70 platform fire truck.
Purchased a John Deere Gator XUV for all terrain EMS/Fire Response.
Replaced 1997 Freightliner/Horton ambulance with new International/Horton ambulance.
Replaced 1989 reserve fire engine with new 2020 Sutphen pumper
Replaced 2015 Ford with new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe for EMS chase and command.
Replaced 2003 International/Horton with a new Freightliner/Horton ambulance.