The Strasburg Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1927. Since that time the department has grown in its responsibilities and services. In the 1920s and 30s we were dispatched to fires only. Now members respond to not only fires but to all public emergencies.
Our first vehicle was a 1913 Model T. It carried about 60 gallons of water, there was no pump, so a chemical was added to the water that created a reaction that pressurized the tank. There were only 8 members in 1927, so farmers relied on each other to fight fires. Neighbors would look out for each other and come running with buckets, and shovels.
In 1948 the Strasburg Volunteer Fire Department expanded its services to include medical transport. The first ambulance was a 1946 Ford Panel truck and Strasburg Fire provided the only ambulance service along the I-70 corridor from Agate to Watkins until 1981.
The Modern Department
The modern day responsibilities of the Strasburg Fire Protection District is broken down into 4 key areas:
Of course, we are responsible for all fires in our 262 square mile district. Each year we average about 50 brush fires. Although rare in the past, structure fires are becoming more and more prevalent. Never happy with any property destruction we engage in public education in fire safety through giving talks, fire station tours and through training sessions. During Fire Prevention Week, members of the fire department talk to schoolchildren about fire safety. The importance of being careful around fire is stressed, and students are instructed in how to react in case of a fire in their homes. In addition, the presenter demonstrates how the fire fighter looks wearing his turnout gear and air packs. The presenter also stresses what to do should one's clothes catch on fire: STOP, DROP AND ROLL. The training is not limited to schoolchildren, but is given to any and all.
After each fire is extinguished, the Fire Department is required by law to determine what started the fire. Although it may look like an impossible task, it is possible to determine the cause of most fires by examination of all the facts. Fire Department members are trained to recognize indicators such as burn patterns to determine the origin of the fire.
Emergency Medical Technicians on the Fire Department render emergency first aid to the sick and injured. The Rescue Squads respond to everything from heart attacks to car accidents. The emergency medical calls now comprise 80% of the total responses. To meet this demand, each E.M.T. is required to attend continuing education classes and to keep C.P.R certification current. We have 3 ambulances and can provide Advanced Life Support.
All Fire Department members receive training in auto-extrication and work as a team to free trapped persons in vehicle accidents. In addition, the department provides all tools and equipment to assure quick and efficient extrication for the trapped victims.
Another duty of the firefighter, responding to hazardous materials incidents, has become increasingly important in recent times. As a result, firefighters undergo annual training to equip them to deal with this life-threatening duty.
Although the members of the Strasburg Fire Protection District engage in endless hours of training and hard work, if asked "Why?", we will respond unanimously, "Because we love it." A firefighter's glory is his pride in what he does, how he does it and for whom he does it. In the Book of John, Chapter 15, Jesus says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." All the members of the Strasburg Fire Protection District look at their communities as their friends and stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for them.