Founded in 1890, the Howard Volunteer Fire Company consisted of a small force of men and boys would gather at the ringing of the bell in the old, high-towered fire house.
Their equipment consisted of a four wheeled ladder wagon made locally by converting a light farm wagon. A single tongue with several handles and ropes attached at the front comers enabled the stronger men to race through the alleys as fast as they could run. The only other piece of apparatus was a two wheeled hose cart, sometimes pulled by hand and sometimes by Harold "Dizzy" Mayes 'car if it was parked handy. It too was probably homemade by one of the many skilled wood craftsmen living in the community around the turn of the Century.
There were several disasterous fires in the late 20s and 30s. Large insitutions in the community such as the Catholic Church, Furnace School, and Howard Elementary school were we claimed by these fires. These great losses caused the business men and other leaders in the community to recognize a need for better fire protection within the small town. Prominent among these leaders was a civic minded young man named John Kling Yearick. Despite a difficult economy, Mr. Yearick and his fellow workers perservered with fundraising and direct solicitations to purchase the town's first motorized fire apparatus . In 1938 the Howard Fire Company purchased a new 1 1/2 ton Chevy truck with the latest firefighting equipment on it. The company continued to improve to improve its equipment over the next 23 years.
By the 1960s the fire equipment was over 20 years old and had been repaired and patched up many times. The company decided something needed to be done to update its existing resources.This decision led to a venture that far surpassed anything ever attempted in Howard. The plan was to purchase the old matress factory from the Muffly Family, restructure it into a two truck fire station with an adjoining kitchen and banquet hall. The plan also included the purchase of a new 1961 high pressure pumper to be housed in the new building. Over the next 20 years, 2 more tanker trucks as well as an addition to house both of the engines helped grow the company into a stronger firefighting force.
The Howard Fire Company is a 100% volunteer run company that is made up of members from many different backgrounds but we come together as a team to be there to help people when the need arises. We are currently running a fleet of 13 apparatus including a Engine, a Tanker, a Rescue, a Brush Truck, a QRS, a Utility,a Special unit, a UTV for rescues and wild land fires, and 5 boats.We run an average of 200 calls a year we provide Structure and Wildfire protection as well as Rescue Services including Vehicle Accidents , Medical emergencies, Water Rescues and Specialized Incidents such as search details, animal rescues and beyond.
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