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History Throughout the 75 years of service to the community the fire department realized several significant milestones that make up our history of. These milestones are important to the community because each of them has resulted in an improvement in fire department service to the community.

February 16, 1931 a special meeting of the Ridgeville Township Trustees was held for the purpose of approving bonds to purchase fire equipment and to appoint men to form a volunteer fire company. There was a motion by John Fitts and seconded by G.W. Fortune that bonds be issued by Elyria Savings and trust for the purchase of fire equipment. The motion passed and it was decided a volunteer fire company would be set up by breaking the township into sections. The following men were appointed to form the volunteer fire company:

Center Section: Carl Lehman, Albert Diederich, Ralph Steinmetz, Lewis Hadaway, Paul Knapp and Emmet Ault. Southern Section: Henry Baehr, Ray Dunham, Clarence Bartter, Ivin Bislich, John Schuster, and Wilson Fortune. Eastern Section: Sterling Mills, Howard Van Arsdale, Raymond Pitts, and Earnest Brandt. West Section: Theo Pape, Ted Johnson, Paul Richards, and Herbert Myers. South West Section: Clarence Oster, Bernard Gilgenbach, and Malcolm Van Wormer.

February 26, 1931 another special meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a volunteer firemen's company and to advertise for bid for housing, maintaining, and operating fire apparatus. A motion was made by John Fitts and seconded by John Johnson that the volunteer fireman's company be accepted as organized with Louis Hadaway as Fire Chief and Clarence Oster as Secretary. Motion passed. The events resulted in the establishment of the Ridgeville Township Fire Department.

August 8, 1931 the fire department took delivery of their first fire truck. The apparatus was purchased from Buffalo Fire Apparatus Corporation for a cost of $5,875.00. The 1931 Buffalo fire truck is still owned by the city and is currently housed in our fire museum.

In 1957 a new fire station was built to house the volunteer fire department. The station was built near the intersection of routes 83 and 20. Although the station was built for a volunteer fire company, it is still the city's main fire station. It currently houses offices and a full time staff in close quarters.

August 16, 1967 the fire department went full time and has manned the station 24/7 ever since. The first full-time fire fighters to be sworn in were: Chief Ralph Steinmetz, Lieutenant Eugene Diederich, Lieutenant Robert Dreger, Lieutenant James Barnes, Fire fighters Fred Dorow, Robert Gilder and Al Krueger.

January 1, 1970 the fire department begins to provide basic life support ambulance service to the residents using a used Cadillac hearse referred to as the ""Black Mariah"".

In 1971 the fire department took delivery of a brand new 1971 Chevrolet Vanguard ambulance at a cost of $11,500.00.

November 1974 fire station two located near the intersection of Lorain and Root Road was completed. This fire station was built to better serve the residents on the south side of the city.

February 1979 three additional fire fighters were hired which allowed both fire stations to be manned 24/7. Prior to this time, fire station two was only open when there was enough staff on duty.

April 1995 after several attempts to pass a tax levy to fund a paramedic service, the department was able to hire seven state certified paramedics and provide advanced life support to the residents. This improvement brought the fire department up to modern day standards. Paramedics are able to ""bring the emergency room to you."" Through use of heart monitors, defibrillators, cardiac pacing equipment, cardiac medications, advanced airways, and I.V. therapy, there has been a vast improvement in the outcome of our patients. St. John and West Shore Hospital has helped us to upgrade our heart monitors to 12-lead ECG capability. This provides for an improved outcome for chest pain patients.

December 2007 the fire department transferred its dispatching duties by joining the West Shore Dispatch Center. The West Shore Dispatch Center is a regional dispatch center that manages communications for the fire departments in Westlake, Fairview Park, Rocky River, Bay Village, and North Ridgeville. We also added three additional fire fighters which allowed us to increase the number of emergency units in service on a day-to-day basis. These moves were made with the goal of eventually opening a third fire station.

The fire department is proud of our history of service to the community. We strive to provide great customer service to anyone that calls the fire department for assistance. In our continued plan for the growth of the community and the fire department, we are planning for the future need of additional fire stations in more strategic locations. These new fire stations will improve response times to all neighborhoods in the community. We are as excited about the future as we are proud of our history. Thank you for your past and future support.
© 2024. City of North Ridgeville – 7307 Avon Belden Road, North Ridgeville, OH 44039 – 440.353.0819