Fire Department History

Fire-Rescue Department Historical Timeline

  • Organized in 1926.
  • Early 1950’s volunteers built a new station that formerly sat at the corner of Packwood Avenue and Inter St. (no longer present; eliminated in 1973 when current city complex was built). Volunteers participating were members of the Parker family (Parker Lumber), the Ponders (still on Maitland Avenue), Phillip Ragazino (now deceased) and son; members of the Strong family, and many others.
  • 1972 first full time employees; Ezra Hardy, first full time fire chief replacing volunteer fire chief Edwin Ballard; along with three full time firefighters who were supported by the volunteer force. First full-time firefighters were Robert Dallas, Walter Bennett and Alex Kracun. A deputy chief was also appointed and he was Julius Sasser.
  • 1973 A new station was built appurtenant to the police station and city hall complex which was located at Packwood Avenue and Independence Lane. The station was built because a fire truck that was ordered was too big for the current station.
  • 1975 Maitland Fire/Rescue Department joined the industry with its first effort with advanced life support (paramedics) program. With this new standard, Maitland Fire-Rescue Department (MFRD) increased their staff to two full-time firefighters per shift 24/7.
  • 1978 Maitland increased staffing to three full time firefighters per shift 24/7 to meet new demands.
  • 1984 Chief Hardy retires. City hires full time fire chief Sid Ballou, and staffing increases to four full time firefighters 24/7.
  • 1988 Maitland Fire Department contracts with current medical director for EMS services, Dr. Todd Husty. Staffing increased to five full time firefighters 24/7.
  • 1992 Chief Ballou retires and Daniel Hardester is appointed Fire Chief.
  • Mid 1990’s Staffing increased to six full-time firefighters to meet demands.
  • 2000 Staffing increased to eight personnel due to the addition of a rescue truck unit operating during peak hours.
  • 2002 Chief Hardester retires and Kenneth Neuhard is appointed Fire Chief.
  • 2004 Staffing increased to thirteen personnel due to the opening of a second fire station on the west side of the city (Station 47).
  • 2012 The new Station 45 centrally located on the east side of the City opens housing six firefighters, a battalion chief, and fire administration.
  • 2012 Chief Neuhard retires and Kimberly Neisler is appointed Fire Chief.
  • 2019 Chief Neisler retires and Will Watts is appointed Fire Chief.