History

Fire Service History Of Lafayette Township

The Township of Lafayette was settled in 1820 and 53 years later 16 lots were plated and formed the Village of Chippewa-On-The-Lake. Although records of these early days are very sparse, there was certainly organized fire department activity, possibly in the form of a bucket brigade. The first organized fire department in Lafayette Township was the Chippewa Lake Fire Department. Records indicate that the department was organized January of 1919. Thirty-eight members were each assessed $1.00 to become a member of the fire department. Meetings were held annually in member’s homes, local businesses and churches. A reel hose cart was stored at the Medina County Water & Sewer district building located at the Chippewa Lake Park. There was also a motorized fire truck housed in the village with a removable chemical tank. In 1927 the fire department set up a financing method to assess property owners $1.00 per year for fire protection. January 1931 was the first meeting in the new Chippewa Lake Fire Station that is currently occupied by the Chippewa Lake post office. In 1933 a used 1926 Paige sedan that was converted into a fire truck was purchased. The first brand new fire engine was not purchased till 1939 the net price was $1616.28

Chippewa Lake Fire Department was the only fire department in Lafayette Township till 1954. Lafayette Township Trustees were notified by the City of Medina that there was going to be an increase in fire protection rates. Twenty-five Lafayette Township residents formed the Lafayette Volunteer Fire Department. The first meeting was held in the old township hall that was located across from the Lafayette Elementary School. On February 28, 1954 trustees approved the purchase of a used 1928 pumper and a used 1937 tanker the “Old Seagraves” at a cost of $550.00. This equipment was stored in a local service garage until the new fire station and town hall was completed. Lafayette and Chippewa Lake Fire Departments provided only fire protection to the residents of Lafayette Township and Chippewa Lake until 1976 when the state notified the funeral homes of tougher state regulations. These regulations forced local funeral homes to discontinue providing ems type services. In 1977 through the great cooperation of the residents of Lafayette Township and the Village of Chippewa Lake a door-to-door campaign was spear headed by Betty Snanigan and Dave Mosgrove to raise funds to purchase and equip Lafayette Township’s first rescue squad. The first rescue squad responded out of the Lafayette Fire Department. In 1978 a levy was passed and a new squad was purchased. The old squad was then moved to Chippewa Lake Fire Department.

Until the year 1999 two separate fire chiefs headed Lafayette Township and Chippewa Lake Fire Department. Each department had its own budget, officers and associations. The Lafayette Township Trustees decided to combine the operations of both departments. This was done with the intent to streamline the department and save money. The combination involved changing the name of the department to Lafayette Township Fire Department. Currently one chief heads the 46-member fire department. Memories of the two separate departments will never be forgotten. New memories of one are continuing to be built. Our mission statement is, “Dedicated to Our Community”. We would like to extend our gratitude to our charter members and families. Without their hard work we would not be where we are today.

Bucket Brigade