Bath Township Fire Department History
The Bath Charter Township Board approved the beginning of the Volunteer Fire Department on July 30, 1929. The Firemen were dispatched by the telephone switchboard operator. The operator would open all lines and would signal a long continuous ring, known as the “WILD RING”. Then the telephone operator would relay the Fire information to the listening Volunteer Firefighters and then they would grab their “Fire Buckets” and respond to the fire location. The Firefighters would go to the nearest water source to the fire and form a bucket brigade back to the fire, to put it out.
At the Township Board meeting of June 30, 1941, the Township Board approved the appointment of firemen to be the first organized Volunteer Fire Department of Bath Township. The appointments are as follows, they had two Fire Chiefs: Howard Wilkins and Harrison Ewing, two Assistant Chiefs: Don Ewing and Leonard Hiatt, along with Firefighters: Rollie Woodman, Howard Cushman, Willard Cable, Lyle Brook, Jack Rounds, Harry Dolton, Dean Sweet, Chester McGonagal, Charles White, Fred Trumble, E.E. Benson, Loren Van Ostran, and James Northey.
The first Fire Truck was an International truck chassis with four small tanks that had two hoses hooked to each tank along with acid bottles in the tops of the tanks,” it worked on the same principal as the old soda-acid fire extinguishers. You broke the acid bottle in to the tank and that would create foam and pressure to the fire hoses. The fire fighter that got the job of breaking the bottles into the tank would often get holes in their clothes from drops of spilled acid, it wasn’t the best system, but the Fire Department did manage to put out some fires.
Around 1945, the township purchased a 1945 Ford with 500 gallon water tank an a John Bean high pressure pump that could produce 600 p.s.i. at the nozzle. The Bath Township Fire Department still owns this truck and uses it for special occasions and parades.
Recent Retirement of Chief Art Hosford
On August 18, 2014, Fire Chief Art Hosford announced that effective September 1, 2014 he would be retiring as the Fire Chief. He stated that he has enjoyed his term serving the township for the last 33 years. He thanked the residents for their support as well as the Township Board past and present. He gave a heartfelt thank you to the firefighters for all they do. Also a love filled thank you to his wife Cindy and sons Andrew and Mitchell for their support and understanding. As he hangs up his turn out gear for the last time he realizes that the Fire Service is the best job ever. Those in attendance at the Board of Trustees meeting gave Fire Chief Hosford a lengthy standing ovation.
Last Updated on 15 May 2015