At around 1825 Marietta acquired it's first hand pump wagon that was known as "The Wave" which was pulled by men to the location of a fire. By the 1850's, three volunteer companies protected the city and harmar. Defiance Company was located where Washington School is now, Riverside Company was located in the downtown area, and Niagara Company protected Harmar.
The Marietta Fire Department became a paid department on December 1, 1894. The department consisted of a driver, two pipemen, a fire chief, and one night man in 1894. In those days horses pulled hose wagons which were located in Hose Company #1 downtown, at our present location. Then in 1900, Hose Company #2 was manned at Fort Square across from Harmar School with another horse-drawn wagon.
In 1912 the first motorized fire apparatus arrived and protection improved tremendously. The existing horse-drawn ladder wagon by then was converted to a motorized ladder truck. By 1918 all of the horses were retired and Hose Company #2 became motorized. In 1930 Hose Company #2 was relocated to Fire Station #2 at Franklin Street and Putnam Avenue. In 1972 Fire Stations #3 and #4 were opened in North Hills and Harmar Hill. Then in 1986 Station #2 was closed.
In 1930 there were 26 men on the force operating out of two fire stations. In the mid 70's Emergency Rescue Services were started, and by 1980 there were 41 personnel within the department operating out of four fire stations responding to 900 calls a year. Today, we operate out of three stations with 35 men, and respond to over 3000 calls for help each year
Our services have grown from simply fighting fires; to fire safety education in the 1920's, to river emergencies in the 1940's, to emergency medical services and code enforcement in the early 1970's, to hazardous materials response and confined space entry in the 1990's, to weapons of mass destruction in 2001.
Roster of Fire Chiefs:
A. Dean Alderman 1897 - 1898
Earl Davis 1898 - 1900
W. Daniel Strauss 1900 - 1902
Uncle Joe O'Neal 1903 - 1906
Dan Bisantz 1907 - 1910
George B. Holst 1910 - 1942
David E. Drennen 1943 - 1965
Beman G. Biehl 1965 - 1982
Richard M. Dutton 1982 - 1983
William D. Eagleson 1983 - 1986
Richard C. Wittekind 1986 - 1998
Ted E. Baker 1998 - 2006
Thomas A. Dempsey 2006 - 2011
Charles Durham 2011 - present
The Marietta Fire Department looks forward to the future with the hope of expanding our services even more, with the addition of personnel.