History of Kaysville Fire Department Through 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
- Claude Smith
- Clifton Barton
- Ed Ball
- George Swan
- Harold Bishop
- Harry L. Strong
- Hough Love
- Leo Layton
- Leon Strong
- Mark Barnett
- Parley Anderson
- Spencer Barton
- U.V. Nance
- William H. Mansell
- William H. Sheffield
- William Nance
- Amos Odd
- Milton Burton
Kaysville Milling Company Fire
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.
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 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.
New City Office Building
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.