Department History

There has been a volunteer Fire Department in Sandusky since 1893 when the City was founded under the name of Sanilac Centre, as the county seat of Sanilac County. The first equipment used after the old bucket brigade was a hand drawn hose cart and a hand operated pumper used with water obtained from fire wells placed at points throughout the city. This was replaced around 1900 with a horse drawn fire unit, which was used until after WWI. We have found a picture of this unit and it is hanging in the hall today.

In the 1920’s a Model T. Ford fire truck was purchased and served the City until 1937 when a new General fire truck was placed in service. In 1947 another new General fire truck was added, at which time the Department began furnishing fire protection to three surrounding townships. Many pieces of apparatus have been added and removed from service since that time.

Over the years the Department has been the first to acquire many pieces of equipment. In 1981 the Department was the first to have extrication tools and those tools were used to provide service to the entire county. In 1996 the Department was the first to put an aerial platform in service in the County. In 1998 the Department became the first with a Custom 6 man cab pumper with CAFS. Today’s apparatus consists of: 1998 HME/Darley Pumper 2006 E-One Tanker/Pumper, 2012 Grass Unit, 85’ LTI Aerial Platform.

 The fire hall was located at City hall with only two bays. In 1979 a new hall was built at the present location. There were only two fire trucks in the force at that time. When the move to the new hall was made the members of the Department wondered why they needed such a big hall.

Today the hall is full and is in need of expansion. Prior to 2001 the Department was owned and operated by the City of Sandusky. In March of 2001 the Department reorganized and founded the Sandusky Community Fire Department Association. The members of this association are the City of Sandusky, Custer Township, Elmer Township and Watertown Township. The efforts of the Fire Chiefs from the 1950’s has made this Department what it is today.

 If anyone is ever in the area, stop by and see us. We may have a cup of coffee for ya.