Fire and EMS
Wapakoneta Fire-EMS (originally known as the Deluge Fire Company and for many years after, known as the Wapakoneta Fire Department) began formally in 1865 when Council issued bonds to purchase a Fire engine, hose, carriage and a building to house this equipment. Prior to that, “hooks and ladders” were provided for the city as early as 1856. In 1876 the City began hiring individuals to serve as engineer and “night watch”. The currently used building was built in 1885 and is believed to be one of the oldest active fire stations in Ohio.
Wapakoneta Fire-EMS is a single station operation with 24 hour staffing. We currently have 14 career firefighter/EMTs, 12 part paid auxiliary firefighters and 10 auxiliary EMS personnel. Our career staffing structure consists of a Chief, 3 shift Captains and 10 firefighters divided among 3 shifts all of which hold Level-2 firefighter certifications and EMT certifications from EMT-Basic to EMT-Paramedic. Our Engine’s consists of 3 – engines, 1 – 80ft. aerial platform, 1 – heavy rescue/engine, 2 – support vehicles and a water rescue trailer. We also maintain our 1943 Seagrave pumper as a “parade vehicle”. This unit was purchased during World War II with special permission from the U.S. War Dept.
In addition to firefighting and EMS services, Wapakoneta Fire-EMS provides fire prevention and education, confined space rescue, water and ice rescue, rope rescue, vehicle extrication and other emergency services as needed. We provided support for the Wapakoneta Rescue Squad as a separate City operated department until August 1st 2005 at which time the EMS service was melded into the fire department and is now operated as one department overseen by the Fire Chief. Along with the area within the City of Wapakoneta, fire and EMS protection services are provided to 16 square miles of Duchoquet Township and primary EMS only services are provided to an additional 16 square mile area of Duchoquet Township. Currently, the department deals with 340 – 360 fire related incidents per year and 1000 – 1100 EMS related incidents per year.
Featured on the front lawn is a small museum, which houses an 1860 hose cart that was originally purchased by Wapakoneta. This was restored by retired Chief Marion “Punk” Zwiebel and donated to the department in 1995.
In spite of the age of our building, we recently remodeled and upgraded the entire facility. The living quarters for the staff have being moved upstairs, while the office facilities were moved to the first floor. All electrical, plumbing, mechanical and HVAC have been upgraded and the building has been made ADA accessible. The exterior trim of the building has been repaired as needed and painted. For the most part, the department staff provided a majority of the labor for this effort.
The staff at Wapakoneta Fire-EMS is proud of its tradition and heritage of service to the community.