SIDNEY — This month, the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dedication of Station 1, which currently serves as department headquarters.
Station 1, located at 222 W. Poplar St., was dedicated and officially opened on Oct. 27, 1996. Built on the former site of the Sidney Grain and Milling Co. with business conducted as The Stone Bridge Warehouse, Station 1 cost the City of Sidney $2,862,000 to build, including fixtures and furnishings, according to Sidney Fire Chief Chad Hollinger.
“For context, the department’s newest fire apparatus, Quint 3, cost the City of Sidney $1,079,236 for the apparatus alone,” Hollinger said.
From 1876 until 1939, the Monumental building was the home of Fire Headquarters. When the new City Hall was completed in 1939, headquarters relocated to 201 W. Poplar St. The city was served by this lone station until 1981 when Station 2 opened on South Vandemark Road.
Since 1981, the city has been protected by personnel stationed at both stations — currently a minimum of three personnel at Station 2 and five personnel at Station 1. When the new headquarters opened in 1996, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services handled 2,770 calls for service. As of Tuesday afternoon, the department has responded to 3,143 calls for service this year.
Retired Fire Chief Stan Crosley was the chief of the department when the station opened, and continued to serve the department until his retirement in May of 2010. According to Hollinger, Crosley was instrumental in the planning and design of Station 1. The department received the Fire Safe Station Award in 1997 from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) for incorporating fire sprinklers in the design of the new station.
“Crosley was a champion for fire safety initiatives during his tenure and this ideology carried over in to the design of Station 1,” Hollinger said.
Lt. Jason Truesdale, who is now the senior member of the department, was the first new firefighter hired to work at Station 1. Truesdale joined the department in February of 1997. Retired assisstant Fire Chief Mark A. Barga, who retired in August 2021, was the last member of the department who worked “across the street” at City Hall.
“The members of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services take great care of the stations that they call home a full third of their lives while working for the organization. The members can often be found cleaning, maintaining, and updating the stations they live in,” Hollinger said.
The Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services invites members of the public who wish to tour the fire stations to contact the department at 937-498-2346, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to schedule a tour. Additionally, Hollinger reminds citizens to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors now, ahead of daylight savings time ending on Nov. 7.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Fire and Emergency Services Department, 222 W. Poplar St., Sidney.