In 1953, Ralph and James Boggs compiled and published a complete history of the Village of Covington, which their family has generously agreed to share with the community on this website. Below is the introduction of their research.
In 1880, the Council of Covington, Ohio purchased the first fire engine and the Fire Department was organized January 3, 1 881. D. C. Shellabarger was named chief and G. W. Speelman, chief engineer.
In 1895 a second fire truck was added; 1896 a hook-and-ladder; in 1917 it motorized with a Model-T fire truck; 1927 a triple-combination fire truck; in 1936 a fire truck equipped with water tanks, 200 rotary and 500-gallon centrifugal pump. In 1946 the Fire Department itself added a high pressure fire truck, in 1951 an emergency truck and (ate in 1952 the Council added a new fire truck, 300-gallon booster tank, ladders and other equipment.
Past Fire Chiefs were D. S. Shellabarger (1881-1882), N. Raplyea (1882-1886), George Dreese (1886-1890), G. W. Butt (1890-1892), D. M. Lower (1892-1895), William Dreese (1895-1897), C. G. Kraus (1897-1898), W. E. Westfall (1899-1902), J. V. Metzger (1902- 1908), J. B. Neth (1908-1946) and Roger O’Donnell, appointed March 6, 1946.
At the present time the village ond township are being served with three fire trucks and the emergency truck, 1500 feet of 1 i inch hose, 2500 feet of 2i inch hose, two auxiliary pumps, recussitator and many other modern pieces of fire apparatus. In 1953 the department expects to add a new four-stall fire house to the department. All members of the department have completed the Kent State University Training Course. The department consists of 27 members and the chief.
The Covington Volunteer Fire Department is operated strictly by funds from taxation, the sum decided by the city council annually according to the anticipated needs of the coming year. Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month in which the members are paid the sum of fifty cents per meeting. Members also receive one dollar per alarm call within the city. To become a member an application for membership is filed with the secretary of the department, which must be approved by the city council, and if so he is then a member of the Covington Volunteer Fire Department and is compelled to abide? by the by-laws of the department. If he misses two of three consecutive meetings without good reason he is subject to dismissal. The members of this department are protected by workers compensation paid by the city council. The equipment of the department cannot be used outside the corporate limits of the city.
The Covington Special Fire Department Inc. was organized in 1937 and incorporated under the corporate laws of the State of Ohio, to serve the rural areas surrounding Covington. No city or taxation funds are used for this department as they operate entirely on rural subscriptions which at present are three dollars per year. This department is controlled by a board of trustees whose officers are: Roger C. O’Donnell, president; Carl Miller, vice president; Jesse O’Roark, secretary; and J. L. O’Roark treasurer and are in no way ruled by the city council. Members of this department must be members of the Volunteer Department and are protected by insurance purchased by the Special Department. The operating radius is approximately ten miles in all directions from Covington. This department purchases and maintains all rural equipment (the emergency truck and liability insurance on the men and equipment). Any other revenue made by the departments is added to the general fund for the use of either department.
Construction of a new $1.4 million, 16.000 square-foot fire station began at 801 E. Broadway St. in Covington on June 14, 2008 and was completed in February 2009 to replace the old 65×50-foot station located at 12 E. Spring St.
Below is a photo gallery consisting of historic images of the Covington Fire Department.
(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge)