Trilby, Ohio, Boasts Progressive Volunteer Department
The Trilby, Ohio, Fire Department protects approximately eight square miles of Washington Township property in Lucas County, West Toledo. Like many other volunteer organizations, its first piece of mobile fire fighting equipment was a Model T Ford chemical truck. Like others, the founders of the Trilby department secured their equipment through public subscription.
The Model T is only a memory now, dimmed by the lustre of the smart new rigs that have succeeded it. These include three combination pumpers; a new emergency squad truck, and a chief’s car. This array of apparatus is housed in an attractive two-story fire headquarters.
Perhaps there are other township fire departments that boast of equally handsome quarters and apparatus, but from there on the Trilby vamps are well up at the top of the heap.
The thirty-five man department isn’t just paper personnel. They really work, when not having fires as well as when in service. Adjacent to the fire station is a 4-story drill tower, and it is used. In 1949 the department worked 107 hrs. and 53 min. at fires. But it put in 954 hours drilling, and 58 hrs. and 35 min. doing rescue work. Members must drill monthly, but that’s not all. The work of the department includes much more than chasing to fires and accidents. The members boast an outstanding fire prevention and inspection program in the schools of the township, which includes five elementary and one high school with a total of 2754 students. The Committee on Fire Prevention and Inspection also periodically inspects industrial and other occupancies. Claimed to be the only program of its kind in Ohio Schools, the enterprise is somewhat similar to the modern progressive safety campaigns. After inspections, complete reports are filed by the department, copies being sent to the School Board, Industrial and Company officials, State Fire Marshal and others concerned. Home inspections by members of the department are-invited.
Education of householders and farmers, in the area, on fire prevention and how to act in time of fire is carried on continually. A house-to-house canvas every October is made, and every family gets an instruction card that contains helpful information, and is at the same time good promotion for the Trilby F. D.
The department holds regular monthly meetings in the station’s auditorium under the guidance of the President, Eugene Church, and departmental officers. Fire fighting is in charge of Chief Elden LaFollete. Monthly meetings for instruction of school students and others are held also at the station, transportation being furnished by the firemen. Attendance at these meetings averages 65 per session. There are five “captains” and 72 “fire patrol” members in the five schools. Duties of the patrol members are to make inspections with firemen, be responsible for roll call and fire drills and reporting to the school principal.
The volunteers are particularly fond of their squad car, which is equipped with mobile telephone, rescusitator, inhalator, oxygen supplies, smoke masks, acetylene cutting torch, portable light plant with flood and hand lights, hand tools, stretchers, first aid supplies, including burn kit, booster tank and pump.
All trucks of the department carry a street directory, which gives the location of any incident and accurately and quickly indicates the desirable routes to be taken. Many of the members have had training in Kent State and Ohio State Fire Schools. Thirty members carry advanced first aid cards.
The chief’s car is equipped with mobile telephone, first aid supplies and emergency safety equipment together with portable fire extinguishers.
In 1949 the department answered 327 calls, 94 being for fires.