History of Kaysville Fire Department thru 1997 as compiled
By Davis Kaysville Company, Daughters of Utah Pioneers
We have no records to tell us how the early citizens of Kaysville fought their fires. It was probably the standard bucket brigade where every neighbor who could, grabbed a bucket or whatever container was handy and did the best they could to quell the flames. With so few streams or large irrigation ditches to supply the needed water, not many structures could be saved.
On October 10, 1892, the first mention of what to do about fires was discussed by the city council members.
August 4, 1910, the price of hose and a hose cart reel was discussed. Hose could be obtained for 90 cents per foot in 500 foot lots and the cart for $75.
In 1911 a fire station location took the city council’s attention as well as the organizing of a fire department.
March 16, 1911, Councilman George Swan reported that a fire station had been installed on the Relief Society grounds on Main Street. (The original Relief Society building had blown down in an east wind.) The small shed, which had been used as a tool house by the city, had been brought to the lot and painted and the hose cart and fire hose placed in it ready for use. Councilor Swan was instructed to take action for the organizing of a Fire Department and report to the Council.
On May 4, 1911, Councilor George Swan as organizer of the Fire Department reported the following members of the Kaysville Volunteer Fire Department:
Chief - Ernest Blood
Assistant Chief - James Chipman
Secretary - Myron Phillips
Treasurer - LeRoy Shelby
Members: William Nance, U.V. Nance, Harry L. Strong, George Swan, Claude Smith, Mark Barnett, William H. Sheffield, Parley Anderson, Leon Strong, Ed Ball, Leo Layton, William H. Mansell, Harold Bishop, Hough Love, Clifton Barton, Spencer Barton
Extras: Amos Odd, Milton Burton
When the huge Kaysville Milling Company fire occurred in 1920, the volunteer fire department consisted of a hand cart and 250 feet of hose. The city fathers knew this was entirely inadequate. On March 6, 1922, Ernest Peterson presented a list to the city council of 79 taxpayers in the city who had indicated their willingness to be taxed for the purpose of buying firefighting apparatus. Peterson was appointed Fire Chief in September. He and Joe Galbraith got together and made a fire engine out of an old Hudson car. It had a water tank, a pump, and a hose. This was used until 1929 when an American LaFrance Pumper truck was purchased. What a great day for the fire department and Sirl Davis, the Fire Chief, when it was delivered. The old fire house on Main Street was sold to a Mr. Pehrson for $8.00.
In June of 1929 the fire department moved into the Wessel Building on First North between Main and First East. This building, two stories at the time, had had many uses; among them, a candy kitchen, John Barton’s undertaking parlor, and a meeting place for the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization. This building served as the city fire station for ten years.
In 1939 the city was in the process of constructing a new city office building on the east side of Main Street (most recently the city, then county library building). World War II delayed the building of this structure so the city offices and fire station were housed in the Williams Building on the corner of Main and First North (currently the laundromat) until the other building was completed.
The next make-shift station was the library building (former blacksmith shop, auto repair shop). The library was moved to the north end of the new city office building. Here the three fire trucks, by this time, were housed from 1947 until 1969 when the first fire station built specifically for this purpose, was completed.
Around 1970, the fire department was organized into two companies which were each headed by an assistant fire chief. The companies were on call alternate months (24 hours a day while on call). One company would respond to the small fires, while both companies handled the larger fires.
From our 100 Year Celebration notes of 2011
2000 – We moved into the new fire station and changed to a new radio system. The new station has served the firefighters well and the new radio system allows us to communicate with all the emergency responders in seven counties. This has improved our ability in all the areas of the fire service and has enabled us to build good relationships with other counties.
2001 – We replaced a thirty-year old fire engine with a new state of the art engine and added a new brush truck to our apparatus.
2002 – We made one of the biggest changes in the history of the Kaysville Fire Department by adding the ambulance service. This has allowed us to have two firefighters at the station twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, we have doubled the number of ambulances available to our city and reduced the overall response time.
2003 – We upgraded our ambulance service from EMT-Basic to EMT-Intermediate. This has allowed us to give our patients a much higher level of service and better medical care. We are now capable of administering several life- saving drugs and provide better airway management. To incorporate this change, we required all of our EMTs over several months, to complete the training and testing and become certified at this level. This same year we purchased a hazardous materials trailer and equipment with a Homeland Security grant. This grant included thermal imaging cameras, combustible gas detectors, radiation detector, and personal protective equipment – a big plus for the firefighters and our overall ability to provide better service and technology not only for our calls, but in case of a major disaster.
2004- The Fire Chief’s position was changed from part-time to full-time, allowing for closer and better management of the department. Part-time Fire Chief, Brett Larkin, was hired as the first full-time chief for Kaysville.
2005 – We created five new engineer positions. An engineer is assigned to drive and pump the apparatus. The new fire engines are very complex with increased computer technology. Because of this, we need individuals with the expertise to operate them. Each engineer had to take many hours of training to become state certified.
2006 – A new fire engine was ordered to replace a thirty year old engine. This was delivered in 2007 and has greatly improved our capability to provide faster and better service to the community.
2008 – A new ambulance was added, bringing the ambulance fleet to three. This is a very important addition because it gives us a reserve ambulance as well as an additional unit to respond to large calls or additional calls. We also received a grant from the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to purchase a new device called an Auto Pulse. This devise is attached to a patient and will do constant and effective CPR during a cardiac arrest.
2009 - We purchased technical rescue equipment that will add additional capability to our rescue truck. This equipment will allow us to stabilize large vehicles after accidents and the walls or floors of a building after a collapse.
2010 – We upgraded the cutter with our vehicle extrication equipment so we can cut through the new metals in current vehicle construction. The old cutter wasn’t able to do this safely.
2017 - Fire Chief Brett Larkin retired after 37 years of dedicated service to Kaysville City. Chief Paul Erickson was appointed by the City Council effective October 15th. Chief Erickson joins the Fire Department with a distinguished career of fire protection expertise, including the past 11 years as Fire Chief at Hill Air Force Base.