New Fire Department Display

Fire Department Early Beginnings
by Stan Peterson

The Granger City Fire Department was organized in September, 1938: until that time anyone within hearing distance of the bell, hung above the present (past) city hall, responded to the fire.

The late Jim Bell was selected as acting chief, Morris Wesselius and Mr. Schneider were the captains. The first fireman were Jarret Finley, Jim Crofton, Darwin Davis, Mr. Clarey, Lyle Webb, Sal Figliola, Lonnie Amos, Mr. Peterson, O.J. Clark, Fred Burnett, and Ed Betsch. The late Rex Putnam, rural Chief of Fire Protection.

The first project of the firemen was to get all the fire hydrants to work. At that time, there were 25 hydrants, and 10 of them were defective. There is nothing in the minutes of 1938 and 1938 to indicate how they acquired a fire truck, but they had one, and they spent a lot of time keeping it running. In February, 1940 the department bought another truck from Rankin Equipment for $195.00, $50.00 down and $12.00 a month until paid for! This truck was outfitted from chassis to nozzle by the fire department and local citizens. Some of those mentioned were Elmer Hart, Steve Edwards, Clay Bell, Leonard Rambo, Jim Bell and Darwin Davis.

Attendance at meetings has always been a problem. Some of the men attend regularly, some don’t. In the present day meeting minutes, very little is mentioned regarding attendance. A chart is not kept on attendance, and every six months the department has a pot luck dinner – those missing a meeting during that period of time pick up the tab for any expenses.

Water Tank/Sprayer Worn by a fireman and used to spray flames in grass fires.

Oxygen Tank & Mast Worn by a fireman entering a smoky building.