AVON FIRE DEPARTMENT 75th ANNIVERSARY

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    AVON FIRE DEPARTMENT 75th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL, The Press, May 16, 2007, By Rebecca Turman

    ``Part time to full time

    What a difference 75 years makes. From a volunteer crew of 11 to a 24-hour full-time firefighting staff, the Avon Fire Department has seen a world of change over the decades.

    It's hard to think back to a time when the volunteer firefighters were only paid $1 for emergencies and 50 cents for training sessions when the department started in 1932. What is more unbelievable, and remarkable, is that over a 75-year period, there was only one recorded fire fatality, which was due to careless smoking.

    From tornadoes to car accidents, barn fires to plane crashes, to educating community members on safety, the fire department has handled it all.

    When former Fire Chief Frank Root Jr., who retired in 2006, started volunteering with the fire department in the '60s, help from local firefighters was only a siren away. "When I first got on, we didn't even have alert radios," Root Jr. said.

    As the years went on, the volunteers moved on to radios for signals. "At that time, the first ones we had were plectrons," Root said. "They were in houses. Whenever they (firefighters) heard the call, it would be at home."

    As technology improved, firefighters were contacted via pagers. "It's tremendously different from what it was when it first started," Root said of the evolution.

    Not only was the form of communication different, but the way the department functions has dramatically changed. "At the time we were paid per call," Root Jr. said. When asked approximately how many calls the volunteer firefighters fielded when Root Jr. joined the fire department, he said "less than 50 a year." According to the 2006 annual fire report, the fire department responded to 1,807 calls last year, making that "50 a year" seem light years away.

    Along with the major increase of fielded calls over the years, the fire department also provided more services to the community and Lorain County. In 1972 the fire department took over ambulance services, which were once provided by Burmeister's Funeral Home. Today, all of the Avon firefighters double as trained paramedics. "My proudest accomplishment was the paramedics' training that we've given this department," Root Jr. said.

    The shift The years of dedication and evolution from devoted volunteers paid off and led to the the transition of a full-time fire department in 2003, when three 24-hour shifts were created with a lieutenant and four firefighters per shift.

    According to the current chief, Frank Root III, the reason the firefighters had survived as part time for so many years was because of the strength of the department. "The thing is, we had such dedicated guys that made it work," Root III said. "We had such great guys."

    Working up to full-time status took a lot of hard work, Root III said. "We strived for that for a couple of years before it actually transpired," he said. "We had to sell it to the citizens and had to get the station together." ...

    "Not only is this a 75th milestone, but it went from volunteer to part time to full time," Mayor Jim Smith said. Even when the department was volunteer-based and part time, Smith said the firefighters "always performed professionally." "They've given the city 75 years of fantastic service," he said, adding that his own family members, his great-uncle Ed Casper and his second cousin Don Casper, both who were chiefs helped the department progress to what it is today.

    To Smith, having the fire department go full-time was a natural progression. "We got so big, we had to go full time. We were wearing the part-time guys out. We had 90 calls a month-that's three a day," he said, adding that most of the men held other jobs while answering the calls at the same time.

    "They performed a service that we couldn't get any place else," Smith said. "If it was just fire (services), it probably would have been a lot easier," he said. "You can't expect a part-time guy to do this training all the time. It was pulling them apart." Along with having a new fire station and a full-time firefighting/paramedic staff, Smith said, "What's also nice is having an emergency room in your own town."

    When asked if the timing of the department going full time was right on schedule, Root III said, "I thought it happened pretty close to the appropriate time." Theresa Szippl, of Avon, who is the granddaughter of the first Avon Fire Chief Ed Casper and the daughter of former Fire Chief Don Casper, said they would have been proud to see the fire department today.

    "They were on fire calls, they were on ambulance calls-they did a lot of things," Szippl said of her relatives and their fellow firefighters. "It was just a part of their life and they evolved with it." Smith echoed Szippl's sentiments. "I wish the guys who started this 75 years ago could see this," he said. "There would be tears in their eyes right now."''

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    AVON FIRE DEPARTMENT 75tH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL, The Press, May 16, 2007, By Rebecca Turman

    ``Department delivered big for local family

    For most parents, the birth of a child is unforgettable, but for Michelle Wimmer and her husband Ron, that's an understatement. Almost 18 years ago, their son Bryan was born into the world, and without the help of the Avon Fire Department, it would not have been such an easy entrance.

    The date was Aug. 17, 1989. It was early morning and Michelle said Ron had just left for work, leaving her alone with their daughter, Stephanie, who was 5 years old at the time.

    "I had three contractions 10 minutes a part," Michelle said, adding that she decided to take a shower at that time to calm the contractions, but they only grew closer together.

    Though Michelle was alone with her daughter, nothing went awry. Stephanie had attended Safety Town earlier that summer, and she knew how to react in an emergency. "My daughter called the operator, (there was no 9-1-1 at the time) and she patched her through and they sent an ambulance," Michelle said of Stephanie's resourcefulness.

    When the Avon firefighters arrived, Michelle said they were expecting to drive her to the hospital, but they quickly learned that there was more in store for them.

    "He was already showing himself to the world when they got here," Michelle said. "They came up and I was in the bathroom. It just happened so fast. It was very exciting." "It was just so natural, I wasn't worried," Michelle said of the situation that could have been very awkward. "After it was over, everyone was so excited and proud."

    "An hour and 40 minutes after the first contraction, Michelle said, Bryan entered the world. Former Assistant Chief John Votava was the one who delivered Bryan, Michelle said.

    "What a great guy," she said of Votava. "He was awesome." Several years after Bryan's birth, when Michelle had three kids, she said she randomly ran into Votava and he said to her, "You're not going to do that again, are you?" Michelle also recalls Cheryl Holowecky being at Bryan's birth as well. According to a Press article (written September 13, 1989) Jon Quisenberry and Jim Goemmel were also present.

    No matter how remarkable Bryan's birth was, the Avon senior said he was just plain embarrassed about his grand entrance into the world. "I always feel like an idiot for not being born in a hospital," he said, though acknowledging that it wasn't something he had control over.

    The Wimmer family to this day still harasses and jokes with Bryan about the birth, saying things like, "You know you were born in the bathroom. Let's have your birthday party upstairs," Michelle said. "He would say, 'stop doing that mom, nobody needs to know about that,'" Michelle said. "Until he was 16, he wouldn't listen to the story. He wouldn't even look at it in his baby book."

    Last year Bryan listened to his mom tell the story of his birth, and he even watched a video of himself (when he was a month old) on The Morning Exchange show with his mom and sister.

    Today, Bryan has embraced the uniqueness of his birth, and has realized that it's a story worth telling. "Now I'm sort of proud about it," Bryan said. "So many things happened (the day of his birth) that wouldn't normally happen," he said, mentioning that on that day, he learned that his sister woke up earlier than she normally did because she felt sick and was having strange dreams. When she awoke, Bryan said she found her mom doubled over in pain in the bathroom.

    In a sense, being part of her brother's birth gave Stephanie somewhat of an advantage, Michelle said. Other than the obvious-rubbing it in her brother's face that she helped bring him into the world-"She always had a perfect topic to write about for essays," Michelle said with a chuckle. According to Bryan, the essays only brought him more humiliation. "Random people would come up to me and say, 'hey, weren't you born in the bathroom?'" he said. Bryan met Votava when he was younger, but he does not recall the meeting.''

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    AVON FIRE DEPARTMENT 75tH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL, The Press, May 16, 2007, By Rebecca Turman

    ``Still fighting fire with family after 75 years

    The firefighting profession in Avon is a family affair. It is said that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and when it comes to firefighting, the Roots are firmly planted. Before Frank Root Jr. started out as a volunteer firefighter, he was busy working as a truck driver and running his bar Frank and Ellie's place in Avon.

    "One night I came home at 2 a.m. I knew Bernie Klingshirn (also a fireman at the time) and helped him with a house fire on Nagel Road," Root Jr. said of his first brush with fire. In his 20s at the time, Root Jr. said he took the civil service test shortly after that, joined the Avon volunteer firefighters in 1967 and ultimately became fire chief in 1988.

    "I enjoyed it very, very much-my service to the community," Root Jr. said. "I certainly enjoyed my career." As the son of a volunteer firefighter, Frank Root III was always intrigued by the line of duty. "Ever since I was old enough that my dad could throw me in the back of a pickup truck, I would go with him to the fire station," Root III said.

    For Root III, there was never a question of what he wanted to be when he grew up. "I was hooked," Root III said. "That's all I ever wanted to do." When asked how his father reacted to him wanting to enter the firefighting field, Root III said, "He was disappointed when I told him I didn't want to go to college." However, when Root III told Root Jr. he was interested in pursuing the firefighting field instead, he said, "he was 100 percent encouraging."

    Root III started working as an Avon volunteer firefighter in 1984, and while he worked as a full-time Elyria firefighter from 1986 to 2003, he still volunteered at Avon. "I was always at Avon," Root said. Growing up in the house of a firefighting volunteer, Root III said it seemed as though the sirens rang all of the time, and duty was calling for his father.

    "It was always a big deal,: he said, adding that he also remembers listening to the radio calls that came in to his dad. Another thing that stands out in Root III's mind is that he thought his dad was untouchable. He never realized that the job was a serious one. "I don't remember him ever getting hurt," he said of his father. "Every once in awhile, he'd come home with soot on his face, but I never thought about him getting hurt."

    WHile some poeple endure harassment for working with their family members, Root III said he never caught flak for being his father's son. "Everybody was always very respectful of my dad," he said. "When I started out at Avon, he was a firefighter." By the time Root Jr. became the fire chief, Root III said, "I wasn't the new guy to pick on anymore."

    Though working with family didn't bring on any harassment for Root III, he admitted that things weren't always rosey. He remembered one arguement in particular that he had with his father. "My dad was always very progressive," Root III said. "But on some aspects, he was a kid of the old school. I was known for being an aggressive firefighter. We were doing an aggressive basement attack and he pulled us out. We had a little bit of a shouting match. It was the only time we butted heads. Regardless of their different views, Root III said he has nothing but respect for his father. "He was the best chief I ever worked for," he said.

    The Roots weren't the only father-son chiefs in town. The Caspers were the first. Edward Casper was the first Avon Fire Chief and he served the community from 1932-1945. FOllowing in his father's footsteps as an Avon firefighter starting in 1946, Donald Casper became Avon's fire chief in 1976 and held the position for 10 years.

    Don's daughter, Theresa Szippl, of Avon, said her family's lifestyle revolved around his firefighting career. "That was his life," she said. "It was his first priority." "As a child, I can remember that when the fire siren rang, we would have to call the firefighters who lived out of the area," Szippl said, adding that "we all knew the phone list of people who lived out of town."

    Szippl never had the opportunity to meet her grandfather (he died when her father was in his 20s), but she said her family has shared stories with her. The first firehouse was on Detroit Road and SR 611, [Stoney Ridge and Detroit, attached to the back of the Old Town Hall of 1871] and livng just down the road, in the house that's now the Tree House, Szippl said she was told when the fire siren rang, her grandfather "would run to get to the firehouse, not drive."

    Years later, the same was true for her father. The building that houses Whistlers Ice Cream Shoppe today used to be Don's auto mechanic shop, where he worked during the day. "When the fire siren rang, he'd walk across the street and go to the firehouse," Szippl said. The Avon Fire Department was "a second family" for the Casper family, according to Szippl. "The 'old-timers' were very close," Szippl said. "They had picnics and a lot of them square-danced together at Avon Isle," she said.

    Szippl's mother Evelyn Casper said she remembers the closeness of the smaller community 20 years ago. "She said, 'you either knew evrybody or you were related to everybody,'" Szippl said, adding that it was often common for the firefighters to help people they knew. "It was hard to see them go through that, but it was nice to be able to help out," Szippl relayed from her mother.

    More family ties

    Mark Hricovec comes from a firefighting family. His father, Tom Hricovec, served from 1968-1994, along with Mark's uncle Bill Hricovec. On his mother's side of the family, cousin Lee Allen and uncle Tom Wysocki all served on the Avon Fire Department, as well.

    George Pivarnik, who served as a lieutenant from 1973-1992, is also considered part of the Hricovec family, having worked at the family-owned business, Tom's Country Place, for years, Mark said. "Back when we were younger, the department was part time and we used to farm land here in Avon," Mark said. "My dad would hear the siren going off and he'd take off, and hop in the truck."

    Initially, Mark wasn't sure whether he wanted to be a firefighter, after his cousin Lee told him all of the training that was needed. However, Mark ultimately got up the nerve and decided he was up for the challenge. "My uncle Bill, he thought it was a good idea," Mark said of his becoming a firefighter.

    "It's weird how it worked out. I figured I'd just come on part time and it (the department) ... evolved." Today, the family ties at the fire department are still strong for Mark, as he works with his brother-in-law Nick Rak. When asked if the current department is family oriented, Mark replied with a "yes." "It's something else," he said. "It's as good and as bad as a family in all different ways. You can get on each other's nerves from time to time, but when you are off for a week, you're glad to get back and see them.

    While looking over the past and present roster of Avon firefighters, Root III said he was amazed by how many families have served the department. "That is part of the reason why we have such a strong family tie," Root III said. Root III agreed with Szippl that the 'old-timer' firefighters were very close. "From when I first started, I caught the tail end of how close it was then," he said.

    Looking back through the old logs, Root III said it was ... clear that the former firefighters were very close. Since transitioning the fire department from part time to full time, Root III said the vibe among firefighters has "become more business-like, but I think we're making that turn back around again (to a more family-like atmosphere). It's not like it ever went away completely."

    Root III said he's very proud of his younger staff keeping the spirit of the family alive and well at the Avon Fire Department. Though there are several firefighters who have family ties to the Avon Fire Department, Assistant Chief Tim Golay said that for many of the firefighters, the line of work is in their blood, as well, even if their roots aren't necessarily in Avon. And while some may not have any blood-related family in Avon, one thing is for sure: The Avon Fire Department is a family in itself.

    Additional firefighter families:

    Father/Son

    Goerge and Lawrence Mitchell

    Michael and Chris Emling

    Brothers

    Patrick and Andrew Jr. Monda

    Bernie and Urban Klingshirn

    Ed, Frank and Al Bommer

    Don and Chet Conrad

    Paul and Kenneth Hogrefe

    Grandfather/Grandson

    Al "Red" Rieth and Craig Johnson

    Cousins

    Kevin and Scott Pocos

    Unknown relation

    Charles and Adelbert Kemp''

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    AVON FIRE DEPARTMENT 75th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL, The Press, May 16, 2007, By Rebecca Turman

    ``Avon Fire Department TIMELINE

    FEBRUARY 1932

    The Avon Fire Department is formed with 11 volunteer firefighters. They have a Peter Pirsch International engine, and are housed in a lean-to structure that is added onto Avon Village [Old Town Hall of 1871] at Detroit Road and Stoney Ridge Road. Edward Casper is named the first fire chief; he will hold this position until January 1945.

    MARCH 1934

    Avon Firefighters recieve pay for the first time. They are paid $1 for emergencies, and are compensated for attending training sessions. Training is held twice a month, and firefighters recieve 50 cents a session up to a maximum of $10 per year.

    MAY 1936

    Records for the fire department are hand written logs, no actual reports. It appears that the first structure fire that Avon Fire Department responded to was during this month, and is considered the Conrad fire.

    JANUARY 1945

    Lee Hubbard is named Avon Fire Chief; he will hold this position until August 1951.

    JUNE 1946

    A new Ford/John Beam fire engine was delivered, purchased by the Avon Volunteer Fireman's Association. This organization is responsible for purchasing most of the fire department's early equipment. They hold fundraisers, including dances, fish fires, and carnivals.

    NOVEMBER 1946

    The Avon Firefighter's turkey raffle is held. This has remained an annual event for 60 years.

    JANUARY 1947

    Annual report given for emergencies in 1946. There were 18 calls with a property damage total of $5,000. An average of seven firefighters responded per call.

    MAY 1947

    A Dodge emergency wagon is delivered to provide basic emergency aid. It carries oxygen for patients, but is not used for transporting victims. It is not until 1974 that the Avon Fire Department utilizes rescue squad for transporting patients.

    JANUARY 1949

    A used fire engine was purchased from Perry Township Fire Department. This Seagraves engine was acquired to meet Avon Village's needed water fire flow.

    JANUARY 1949

    A new fire station is built along with the rest of the municipal complex, which houses city hall and the police department. Located at 36774 Detroit Road (now the Avon Senior Center), it was utilized as the main fire station until April 2003.

    AUGUST 1951

    Harold Smith is named Avon Fire Chief; he will hold this position until April 1975.

    JANUARY 1953

    The Avon Fire Department responded to 51 emergencies in 1952. Most of these are field and woods fires. Two calls are house fires.

    JUNE 1953

    A tornado strikes Avon. The fire department assisted people on Kinzel, Stoney Ridge and Case roads. No fatalities reported.

    JUNE 1954

    First report of a dump fire at the former Avon Village dump on Miller Road. There would be several of these fires throughout the years, keeping the fire department busy for several hours at each incident. Many of these fires would be intentionally set.

    NOVEMBER 1956

    First report of a fire engine being sent on mutual aid. The engine responded to a garage fire on Webber Road in Avon Lake.

    JANUARY 1957

    Three house fires in one month keep the fire department busy.

    NOVEMBER 1958

    Barn fires on Colorado Avenue and Center Road took place in a 48-hour period.

    SEPTEMBER 1958

    Self-contained breathing apparatus purchased. These air packs allow firefighters to go into smoke filled structures to extinguish fires.

    SEPTEMBER 1959

    New emergency truck purchased. The Ford station wagon responded to medical emergencies.

    NOVEMBER 1962

    A new Ford/John Beam fire engine is delievered. A satellite station is built at Jaycox Road and Schwartz Road to house the fire apparatus, and to improve response time to the east side of town.

    JANUARY 1963

    The Avon Fire Department responded to 65 emergencies in 1962.

    AUGUST 1963

    A busy morning for the Avon Fire Department as a house and barn caught fire on Schwartz Road and two hours later, a barn caught fire on Nagel Road.

    DECEMBER 1967

    Two house fires hit Avon in one day.

    OCTOBER 1968

    The firemen's association appointed prior hires. Hiring of personnel is now done by civil service process. The fire department's staffing is now at 20 firefighters.

    DECEMBER 1968

    A house fire on Detroit Road and a barn fire on Chester Road occur within six hours of each other.

    MAY 1972

    A new Ford/John Beam fire engine is delivered. It is still in service as a reserve engine.

    JANUARY 1973

    The Avon Fire Department responds to 55 emergencies in 1972. Included were 18 structure fires, 11 vehicle fires and 19 brush fires.

    NOVEMBER 1973

    A new Ford emergeny van is purchased. The van will carry rescue equipment for car accidents.

    FEBRUARY 1974

    The Avon Fire Department takes over the ambulance service for the city of Avon. Burmeister's Funeral Home ran the service prior to this. A Ford extra wide van ambulance is purchased, and members of the fire department take emergency medical technician training. A reserve Chevrolet Suburban ambulance is purchased from Burmeister's; it is paid for by the Avon Fireman's Association.

    JANUARY 1975

    After taking over the ambulance service, the call volume jumps to 163 emergencies, consisting of 68 fire calls and 95 medical emergencies. Staffing is at 30 firefighters.

    APRIL 1975

    Cyril Miller named Avon Fire Chief; he will hold this position until November 1976.

    APRIL 1975

    A small propeller plane crashes at Nagel Road and Tullis Drive. The occupant survives.

    AUGUST 1976

    A small airplane crashes at old Avon Airport on Nagel Road.

    NOVEMBER 1976

    Donald Casper is named Avon Fire Chief. The son of the first fire chief, Edward Casper, he will hold this position until October 1987

    NOVEMBER 1978

    Two fires at Van Sickle Corp. (now the site of Parker-Hannifan.) These fires were magnesium based, which creates difficulty for firefighting because it's water reactive.

    AUGUST 1979

    A Chevrolet four wheel drive minipumper is delivered. This versatile truck is used for off-the-road field fires, and is still in service.

    MARCH 1982

    Purchased a 1982 Ford/Wheelcoach rescuse squad. It is the fire department's first modular style ambulance, allowing for more room for patient care.

    JANUARY 1983

    The Avon Fire Department responds to 315 emergencies in 1982. This includes 61 fire calls and 254 medical emergencies.

    OCTOBER 1985

    The fire department increases fire safety talks to include kindergarten through third grade at public and parochial schools. This plays a large part in the rare instances of juvenile fire starters in the city of Avon. Over 1,500 school children received fire safety talks in 2006.

    MAY 1987

    A small plane crash at Hilliard Lakes Golf Course claims the lives of all three occupants.

    FEBRUARY 1988

    Frank Root Jr. is appointed Avon Fire Chief. He will hold this position until February 2006.

    JULY 1988

    Busy month for the fire department with several field fires, and mutual aid calls to Elyria and Loarin fire departments.

    DECEMBER 1988

    One of the last big barn fires occurred on Center Road. As the city became less rural, the chance of large barn fires decreases.

    FEBRUARY 1989

    Received first fire department car; an old police cruiser. It is used for fire personnel to attend meetings.

    JUNE 1990

    An FMC/Spartan fire engine is delivered. It is currently the second out engine.

    JUNE 1990

    A Julian Street house fire nearly claims the life of the homeowner. A neighbor, John C. Gorey, pulled the man form the burning structure. The Avon Fire Department nominates Gorey for the Carnegie Award. He then goes on to win the national award for heroism.

    OCTOBER 1990

    Two house fires in two days hit Avon, one on Mills Road and one on French Creek Road.

    AUGUST 1992

    The Avon Fire Department takes part in forming the Lorain County Hazardouse Material Response Team. The entire fire department is trained to Hazmat operations level, with three members trained to Hazmat technician level.

    JANUARY 1993

    The Avon Fire Department responds to 381 emergencies in 1992. This includes 85 fire calls and 296 medical emergencies.

    SEPTEMBER 1993

    The fire department orders a Laerdal AED (Automatic External Defibrillator). Lt. Goerge Kraus takes this opportunity to move the fire department into paramedic capable rescue squads.

    DECEMBER 1993

    A Ford/Marque rescue squad is delivered. It is still a reserve ambulance.

    AUGUST 1994

    A Detroit Road man was killed in an apartment fire. Caused by careless smoking, this is the only recorded fire fatality in Avon's history.

    AUGUST 1995

    A busy day for Avon firefighters, an early morning house fire on Oakwood Drive was especially difficult due to the outside temperature being in excedss of 90 degrees. Two hours later they assist North Ridgeville Fire Department with a house fire on Otten Road. Several firefighters were overcome with heat exhaustion.

    AUGUST 1995

    A major storm hits Avon. The fire department responds to numerous hazardous conditions related to the storm. Though not classified as a tornado, a parth of destruction is left on Detroit Road.

    FEBRUARY 1996

    The fire department's three rescuse divers join the Lorain County Dive Rescue Team. The department currently has five rescue divers.

    FEBRUARY 1996

    A rescue truck is put in service. Purchased for $25,000 from the Rocky River Fire Department, it is a 1991 International. $15,000 was put into the vehicle to convert it to carry specialty rescue equipment.

    APRIL 1996

    The dept. received another retired cruiser. It was used as the fire chief's vehicle, and is still in service.

    NOVEMBER 1996

    A major fire strikers the Parker-Hannifan Corporation on Center Road. The million dollar fire is the largest in Avon's history. Avon Lake, Bay Village and Westlake fire departments assisted on scene.

    SEPTEMBER 1997

    Avon firefighters begin a fundraising drive to purchase thermal imaging cameras. These cameras allow firefighters to see in smoke filled conditions in a structure fire.

    FEBRUARY 1998

    Two Avon School buses are involved in an accident on Colorado Avenue. Rescue squads from Avon, Avon Lake and Sheffield Village fire departments transport 12 children. Different buses took the remaining children to St. John West Shore Hospital for evaluations. All injuries were minor.

    MARCH 1999

    A US Tanker/Spartan fire engine is delivered. It is currently the front line engine.

    JUNE 1999

    Leronard's Plumbing on Lear Industrial Parkway is destroyed by a late night fire. The $400,000 fire is extinguished with the help of Avon Lake and Westlake fire departments.

    DECEMBER 1999

    A major fire strikes H&J Automotive. A $250,000 fire occurred after midnight and was extinguished with the help from a ladder company from Avon Lake.

    MAY 2001

    A Ford/AEV rescue squad is put in service. It is currently the second out ambulance.

    OCTOBER 2001

    The largest single loss of life event occurs on Interstate 90. Two cars hit head-on killing all five occupants.

    MARCH 2002

    The dept. took delivery of a Ford excursion as a Rescue/Command vehicle. It is currently the fire chief's vehicle.

    SEPTEMBER 2002

    Firefighters save an elderly woman from a fire on Shakespeare Lane. Firefighters David Swoope and David Conlon pulled the woman from the fire and smoke filled structure.

    JANUARY 2003

    The Avon Fire Department responds to 1,062 emergencies in 2002. This includes 244 fire calls and 818 medical emergencies.

    APRIL 2003

    Avon's new fire station put in service. Located at 36185 Detroit Road, it takes the place of both volunteer stations. The state-of-the-art building is erected for $2.3 million.

    MAY 2003

    A natural gas explosion and fire causes $100,000 in damage to a Caronia Circle house.

    JULY 2003

    Avon Fire Department goes full time. Three 24-hour shifts are created with a lieutenant and four firefighters per shift. Staff personnel to the chief, assistant chief and dispatcher work regular business days.

    NOVEMBER 2003

    The fire department starts a car seat installation program. Car seat technicians ensure that child safety seats are installed properly. In 2006, they checked 250 vehicles. There are currently two car seat technicians.

    DECEMBER 2003

    A Christmas day house fire causes $100,000 dollars in damage. Ladder companies from Sheffield Village and Avon Lake help Avon firefighters battle the blaze.

    JANUARY 2004

    A major fire strikes the Chemtron Corporation on Schneider Court. The fire makes national news, and does $700,000 in damage. The Avon Fire Department utilizes mutual aid ladder trucks from Avon Lake, North Ridgeville and Westlkae fire departments.

    FEBRUARY 2004

    In conjunction with the Avon Seniors Inc. association, the fire department starts a "lock box" program. This program benefits senior citizens with access for paramedics in the event of an emergency. 121 of these boxes were installed in 2006.

    MAY 2004

    Two Avon Firefighters attended Tactical Paramedic school. This allows them to become part of the Lorain County SWAT team.

    SEPTEMBER 2004

    A Ford/McCoy-Miller rescue squad is delivered. It is currently the front line ambulance.

    OCTOBER 2004

    The last two of the department's emergency medical technicians complete paramedic training.

    OCTOBER 2004

    Took delivery of a Ford four-wheel drive pick up truck. It is used for off the road field fires and plowing snow.

    MARCH 2005

    The majority of the Avon Fire Department take a critical intensive care paramedic course. Upon completion they are capable of advanced medical skills including the use of 12-lead heart monitors.

    MARCH 2005

    Firefighters successfully save a man from a dangerous trench rescue at a construction site on Case Road.

    OCTOBER 2005

    New hires take the staffing levels up to six firefighters per shift.

    NOVEMBER 2005

    Assistant Chief John Votava becomes the first full-time retiree. Assistant Chief Tim Golay takes over and currently holds the position.

    JANUARY 2006

    The Lorain County Technical Rescue Response Team is formed. The Avon Fire Department commits to this effort and puts three firefighters on the team. The team works county wide for specialty rescues including trench rescue, rope rescue, structural collapse and confined space rescue.

    FEBRUARY 2006

    Frank Root III is appointed Avon Fire Chief. He currently holds this position.

    MARCH 2006

    The third of three weather alert sirens is installed at Schwartz Road Park. Along with the sirens at Veteran's Park and behind the fire station, they alert the city in the event of a tornado. The sirens are paid for with the fire department's equipment levy.

    APRIL 2006

    The fire department extricates victims from a severe accident on Colorado Avenue. While putting the apparatus back in service, a large amount of smoke is seen from the south. It is a barn fire on Kinzel Road. Numerous farm animals perish in the blaze.

    APRIL 2006

    The dept. received a Ford Explorer command vehicle. It is utilized as the Assistant Chief's vehicle.

    MAY 2006

    The fire department receives a 14-foot Zodiac rescue boat with trailer. The boat is needed for the over 75 ponds and retention basins throughout the city, as well as French Creek. The boat and dive team is deployed for the Lake County floods.

    MAY 2006

    New hires takes the staffing levels to seven firefighters per shift.

    SEPTEMBER 2006

    New promotions bring better structure to the fire department. Each shift now has a captain, a lieutenant and five firefighters per shift.

    OCTOBER 2006

    Construction begins on Avon Fire Department's first aerial apparatus. The KME 100-foot ladder/platform is scheduled for delivery in August 2007.

    JANUARY 2007

    The Avon Fire Departmens responds to 1,807 emergencies in 2006. This includes 466 fire calls and 1,341 medical emergencies. There was $328,000 in fire loss. The Fire Prevention Bureau and company inspectors completed 571 building inspections. Fire department personnel flushed and serviced 1,716 hydrants.''

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    2presspapers.northcoastnow.com/avon-to-hold-first-safety-fair-may-3/

    Avon to hold first safety fair May 3

    Filed by shanerogers April 23rd, 2014 in News.

    By Shane Rogers

    On May 3 [2014], the city of Avon will host its first safety fair at Avon High School. Running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 38 departments, organizations and businesses will be present in an attempt to foster more community outreach. "This is one of the things we have been talking about doing for quite some time," said police Chief Richard Bosley.

    The police department conducted a survey of residents asking what kind of service in the community they wanted to see, how the force was doing its job and what could be improved upon. One of the areas Bosley felt could be improved was community outreach, thus sparking the idea. The city was also approached by NewsChannel 5 and its Building Better Neighborhoods initiative ...

    He continued to discuss the importance of having all residents looking out for each other in the community. While burglaries and other crime were down a little last year from years past, he implored residents to remain alert.

    "Just from the standpoint of neighborhoods, there are a lot of eyes out there that can help us solve crimes a lot faster than we can," Bosley said, citing as an example a neighbor who called the police, which led to four burglars getting caught in the act.

    The event will feature the Avon Fire and Police departments, the Lorain County Drug Task Force, Stomper from the Lake Erie Crushers, the Cleveland Clinic, the U.S. Coast Guard and many more. The event is open to the public and promises to have a little bit of everything for all ages, including face painting and coloring books for the kids. Also being featured will be city vehicles and helicopters from the hospital ...

    Contact Shane Rogers at srogers@2presspapers.com

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