Establishment of First Official Department
Loveland’s first official “fire department” was established in March of 1885 under the direction of Chief Archibald B. Brock.
Miami Steam Fire Company
Known as the “Miami Steam Fire Company," the department was led by Chief Brock until 1895. In 1886 due to a lack of funds from the village council, “Miami Steam Fire Company” members made a deal with a local blacksmith to build a ladder wagon. The money was raised solely by the firemen to purchase this unit. Shortly after that, firefighters were outfitted with rubber coats and boots and more hose and a hose wagon were acquired.
Old Dan & Joe
A shortage of funds to purchase apparatus was not the only challenge that faced the newly established fire company. With every piece of equipment (except the hose reel) being horse drawn, the fire company needed horses to pull their apparatus to a fire. Unfortunately, the village council also made it clear that Loveland was unable to purchase horses for the fire company.
Fortunately, local merchants came to the rescue. A deal was struck between the village and local merchants where the village agreed to pay any merchant that responded to a fire alarm with the merchant’s team of horses to pull the apparatus to the fire. Two of the horses used, which were owned by the L.W. Nisbet Company, were named “Old Dan” and “Joe.”
During this period, firefighters were summoned to the fire station for the report of a fire by a large bell that was taken from the “Reuben Springer” steam boat. The bell was acquired from a local resident, who had spent time serving as a riverboat captain. This bell, which currently sits atop of the Loveland Firefighter’s Memorial, served as the call to the firemen until 1934 when it was replaced by a electronic siren that was operated by phone from any one of four different firefighter’s homes.
First Motorized Fire Truck
Throughout the era of prohibition, illicit liquor traffic was extremely prevalent in Loveland. In response to this, the village council established “Liquor Court.” Fines earned in “Liquor Court” were used to purchase new fire fighting equipment. In 1921, Loveland purchased its first motorized fire truck. The Bierderman-manufactured fire truck was equipped with a 350-gallon per minute pump and two chemical tanks mounted on solid rubber tires. This truck served the community well until 1929 when Loveland purchased two trucks from the Prospect Fire Engine Company located in Prospect, Ohio.