HISTORY OF GROTON TOWNSHIP FIRE DEPARTMENT
Groton Township Fire Department is a completely volunteer staffed fire department that responds to all fire, accident, and medical emergencies within Groton Township and part of Oxford Township, while providing mutual aid to surrounding fire departments in Erie, Huron, and Sandusky counties.
Chief Hodges was selected as the first fire chief of the department. Chief Hodges was a full-time firefighter with the Perkins Township Fire Department and brought years of knowledge and experience to the position. Chief Hodges set the department off in the right direction by making sure that the firefighters were trained in the necessary information and skills to safely and efficiently do their jobs. He was also instrumental in setting department up with the equipment that would be needed as they responded to the calls for help that they would need to answer.
The Groton Township Fire Department was started with four (4) trucks that were purchased, donated or borrowed to provide the important services needed to operate. The department purchased a 1982 Chevrolet 1 Ton Dually pick-up truck, which was formerly used in the U.S. Forestry Service, to be converted and used as a grass fire unit. This truck was to be used to fight fires that were in locations that larger trucks were unable to reach.
The department's first "tanker" or "water tender" was donated in two parts to the township. The truck itself was donated by the Roger's Group Stone Quarry, while the tank was donated by Toft's Dairy from a former milk truck. These two pieces were put together and allowed 3500 gallons of water to be transported to the scene of a fire to supply additional water. At the time, this was the largest tanker in the area, and immediately became a huge asset, not only to Groton Township, but to other surrounding fire departments to assist with mutual aid.
From these humble beginnings, the Groton Township Fire Department was born. The training has continued. The equipment has been upgraded. The number of members has increased. The department now responds to an average of over 100 calls a year and continues to strive to be a service in any way we can to the residents that we serve. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Groton Township for their support over the years. We would also like to thank all those who have helped us throughout the years by donations, training, or other forms of support. Thank you, also, to our fellow brothers and sisters in neighboring departments that have supported us and helped us to become what we are today.
Groton Township Fire Department was formed in the fall of 1989 as a result of the township trustees' efforts to reduce costs of fire contracts with other area departments, while maintaining quality fire protection for the residents of the township. The department was staffed by 12 original members, led by Chief Bill Hodges and Assistant Chief Kerry Jett. The original resources of the department were the 12 members and four (4) trucks. The department was formed with the assistance of the Perkins Township Fire Department.
Kerry Jett was selected to be the Assistant Fire Chief and began to work immediately with Chief Hodges to learn the roles and responsibilities of leading the fire department. Assistant Chief Jett worked closely with Chief Hodges to evaluate training and future equipment needs, and building relationships with other area fire departments. In 1996, Chief Hodges resigned his position and the Board of Trustees appointed Assistant Chief Jett as the new chief of the department.
Also purchased was a 1985 Chevrolet Cube Van, formerly used by the State Fire Marshal as a Hazardous Materials response vehicle. The unit was used as an equipment vehicle to transport needed equipment to respond to vehicle accidents or other emergencies that was not practical to carry on the pumper truck.
Last of all was a 1955 Pirsch Pumper, leased from Perkins Township, which was used as our "front line" pumper. This truck allowed us the opportunity to respond and extinguish fires, and protect the residents of the township.