Albion Interactive History / Organizations / Albion Fire Department

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Organizations

Fire Protection
    Reorganized 1981

Past Locations

Fire Chiefs

Albion Alert Company (1856-1885)

First Fire Station, Superior S 115, 1865-1888

The Albion Alert Company was organized in 1856, entirely of volunteer to protect the small group ofhomes and business places in the growing village.The first chief of the fire department was James Monroe in 1856 and 1857. Thiswas then known as the Alert Company.

Some members of the Alert Company included Augustus Gale, Charles Dalrymple and foreman George Hannahs.

In 1878 the city purchased its firststeam engine.

For many years this Silsby rotary steamer was the pride of the Albion Fire department. It was used to pump water from a number of cisterns located about the city, and from the Kalamazoo River. Following the installation of fire hydrants around town, this horse drawn steamer was used as standby equipment until the boiler went bad. this 1905 photograph was taken on the Clinton St. bridge, looking west.

The first station was built in 1865 at 115 S. Superior St. This 1894 photo shows the tower which graced the top of the structure.

Fire Department (1885-1981)

Second Fire Station, Cass W 107, 1888-1936

The fire station was moved from the S. Superior St. location to this site at 107 W. Cass St. in 1888. The building was in use until the completion of the new city hall complex in 1936. It was demolished in July of 1958, and now serves as a parking lot across the street from the City Hall.

In 1887, during the initial reign of former chief Peabody, the cityof Albion purchased its first fire team and John Hickey was named the driver. Inthat year also the first full time firemen entered the employ of the city. Lateranother team was added and for several years prior to 1916 the two teams ofhorses drew the department’s hook and ladder wagon and steamer to fires. In1916, the department was first motorized, but it was not until 1918 that thelast horses were eliminated. In 1924, the city purchased its pump truck and in1929 a distinctly modern and completely equipped ladder-truck was added.

Albion fire fighters spring into action in this early 1900’s photo. Notice the spittoon in the center of the floor just below the sliding pole. Shown are: Richard Walsh, Sy Starks, and Fred Griswold.

Albion Fire Department, circa 1905. Front row: Charles Osborn, Fred Griswold, Fred Peabody, George McCarty, Ray Hess, Ernest Winchell. Center row: Dick Wheeler, Tony Kratz, Jake Clark, William McAuliffe, ?Oscar Cooper, Paul Alley. Top row: Amos Smith, Walter Peabody, George Hahn, William Schumacher, George Stoddard, Hal Norton.

The Albion Fire Department first became motorized in 1916, and the last team of horses was sold in 1918. Seated at the wheel is Earl Stark, with Chief Fred Griswold next to him. Standing on the left is Paul Alley, with Ray Hess at the rear on the right.

Third Fire Station, Cass W 122, Albion City Hall, 1936-present

Fire Department, c.1930s. William C. Schumacher, department chief. Standing (L-R) Floyd A. Bruce; John Pasick, C.J. Whitney (assistant chief), Lyle Humphrey, John Cascarelli.

Albion firemen gather November 29, 1958 for the funeral of Phlaurius E. Rausch, a department mechanic who died in his sleep at the fire station three days earlier. Shown left to right are: Lawrence Buden, assistant chief; John Markovich, Gerald Schumacher, captain; Donald Biez, Paul Lutzka, Darwin Kimmer, Samuel O’Dell, Chief; Donald Beilfuss, Jerry Sandusky, Hal Shaffer, Leonard White, George Egnatuk, captain; and William Warson, assistant chief.

Fire fighters Tim Graim and James Kirk clasp hands upon the completion of their work at a fierce blaze on S. Clinton St., February 6, 1976.

Public Safety (1981-present)
In 1981 a budget saving initiative caused the Fire Department and Police Department to be joined under the title Albion Public Safety, with officers trained in each responsibility.

Source: Isaac Kremer. August 2003.Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.