Founded January 6, 1886 the Citizens' Hose Company No 1 Inc. is rich in heritage, pride, and has proven time and again it distinction as a premiere fire department. Established by the people of Smyrna in the late 1880's, the Smyrna Fire Co. has proven time and again it's ability to serve the residents of the community.
THE FIRST 50 YEARS
1885 - The town installs water mains and fire hydrants throughout the town
1/6/1886 Voting takes place to become a permanent organization
1/18/1886- First Administrative officers are appointed
7/4/1887- One year after establishment, the company takes part in the first of countless parades
1/28/1897 The town of Smyrna becomes more involved in the fire company, the town agrees to help pay for items essential to the department in exchange for providing at least 30 active members
Timeline of events 1900's
1901- CHC establishes a fundraising committee to solicit the community for vital funds
1902- Fire box system installed
1904- Having used a man drawn hose tender and ladder cart, the company purchases a horse drawn cart
1905- First "smoke masks" are purchased in an effort to better equip the men
1907- The CHC applies for a new charter from the state
1916- The company purchases the first motorized apparatus, an American La France complete with a 350 GPM rotary pump
1921- Citizens' Hose becomes a charter member of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Assoc.
12/18/1922- The second motorized truck is placed into service, a Dodge Graham Brothers chassis outfitted to perform as rural fire truck.
1925- The CHC installs every child's favorite the fire pole
11/9/1925- The first official meeting is held in the building still housing the CHC.
June 1928- A new American La France engine is purchased it would be placed into service during September that same year That same pumper remains in the possession and use of the CHC today
1932- Citizens' Hose purchases "scout" a 1932 American La France pumper
1933- Citizens' Hose withdraws it's membership in the KCVFA, they would rejoin in 1937
THE NEXT 50 YEARS
1940- Long time member and leader of the CHC, J. Fletcher Truax is elected President of the counties Firemen's association
1940's with the onset of World War Two, the fire department takes many steps to ensure the well being of it's community
12/7/1941-The bombing of Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii
12/15/1941- the CHC issues a statement regarding it's readiness to serve and protect, "…the great emergency in our Country this company offers our facilities, equipment and services."
1944- The first "Probies" are allowed into the fire company, in a response to a shortage of service caused by the war, young men 16 or older will now be able to apply for membership
1945- "Scout" is retired
1946- With victory in the European and Asian theaters the CHC moves it's membership requirements to the age of 21.
1946- A V12 B-550-CO American La France pumper is purchased and placed into service
1948 purchase of Dodge B3J 500gpm pumper
1949 CHC hosts Del-Mar-Va convention & First fire police appointed
1950 Ladies Auxiliary is formed
1951 "Radio Room" is set up
1953 purchase of 700 series American La France "Spartan Special" this truck unique in the fact that is was the first to display to company logo
1954 firehouse is expanded 8.20.1954 housing of equipment
1958 first "modern" pumper purchased American La France 1000GPM 800 series pumper with booster reel and 750 gallon tank Decision made by company members never to sell "old mom"
1960 First Governors Cup victory
1961 Citizens' Hose celebrates 75 years of service
1962 Second cup victory
1963 Third Governors cup victory retiring the first of many cups
1964 purchase of the "Weed Wagon" a Dodge power wagon
1966 purchase of a 1955 Mack B-42 tractor and a 5,000 gallon tank to create the companies first tanker
1967 purchase of a 17' rescue boat used for local water emergencies
1968 CHC sells the 1946 pumper and 1958 panel truck, the replacement a Ford Hahn 1,000 GPM pumper
1969 more building additions made to house the tractor tailor, all trucks to be moved into new bays, older side of the firehouse converted into current social hall
1971 construction completed - all units moved purchase of the company's portable power unit
1972 purchase of the departments first aerial unit a 1948 American La France 85ft ladder purchase of the first Hurst tool or Jaws of life
1973 second Hahn pumper ordered
1974 Kent Center takes emergency calls
1975 purchase of a 1970 Mack Tractor to be used for tanker operations
1977 third Hahn pumper is ordered
1978 21' Boston Whaler rescue boat purchased
1981 Bruce C. Ennis elected Fireman of the Year by the Delaware State Firemen's Assoc.
August 22, 1982 Sadly the Citizen's Hose Company loses is first and only fireman while in the line of duty. H. Thomas Tucker falls from an engine while responding to an alarm
1983 purchase of the departments second aerial truck a 1970 Maxim 100 ft ladder and second Hurst tool
1984 original aerial is sold
1985 expansion of the building allowing for offices and storage areas
1986 Citizens' Hose Co. No. 1 Inc. celebrates 100 years of service to the people of Smyrna and Delaware
1989 - Engine 44-2 is totaled in a serious accident at Rt. 13 and Commerce Street. Nine firefighters were taken to the hospital. Three were admitted for their injuries.
11/23/89 - Citizens' Hose Company marches in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. The band and marching unit endure extremely cold temperatures for the day.
1990 - The William T. Lewis School Probationary Award is started. This award is to be given to a deserving High School Probationary Member.
1991 - New engine 44-2, a 10-man KME Firefox, and 44-3, a 7-man KME Firefox, are dedicated in a housing ceremony and placed into service. They replace a 1974 Hahn and 1968 Ford/Hahn.
1994 - A 1989 Kenworth tractor is bought to replace the old Mack tractor for Tanker 44.
1996 - A Dodge Ram brush truck is placed into service replacing a 1964 Dodge Power Wagon.
1997 - The Citizens' Hose Company Band travles to Washington, DC to march in the Inaugural Parade for President Clinton.
1997 - A new KME Heavy Rescue Truck is placed into service to replace a 1968 Ford/Hahn.
1/21/98 - Reynolds Bradley, a long time leader of the department, passes away. A large fireman's funeral is held in Smyrna with many companies from across the state attending to pay their respects.
1998 - The company switches over to the new 800 MHz radio system.
1999 - A 100' KME Ladder Truck is placed into service to replace a Maxim Ladder. It is the first ever brand new ladder truck purchased by the department.
2000 - The department uses a Thermal Imaging Camera for the first time.
2000 - The department purchases it's first ever AED's.
2000 - A Chevy Suburban utility vehicle is placed into service.
5/14/00 - 15-time Fireman of the Year Award winner Calvin (Bubbles) Foxwell passes away. The company honors him by naming this annual award after him.
2000 - The Citizens' Hose Company marches down 5th Avenue in New York City at a parade.
2000 - The Del-Mar-Va Firemen's Convention is held in Smyrna.
2001- The company and band travel to Dublin, Ireland to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade.
9/11/01 - The terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania lead to an annual memrial service in front of the station.
2003 - Citizens' Hose Company wins it's 10th Governor's Cup in a row as the best appearing department in the state.
7/12/04 - A Summer storm drops 14+ inches of rain on the Smyrna area. The deparment runs over 50 calls in one evening.
2006 - Tanker 44 is called to assist Dover Air Force Base when a C-5 cargo jet falls short of the runway and crashes in a field. Ladder 44 and Engine 44-3 are transfered to Dover Fire Department Station 1 to stand-by.
2006 - The department places a new KME Pumper into service as Engine 44-4. The truck replaces a 1978 Hahn.
2006 - Alan Robinson, past Chief and past President of the Citizens' Hose Comapny, is installed as President of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman's Association.
2009 - The Citizens' Hose Company band leads a delegation of firefighters from across the state of Delaware in the Inaugural Parade for President Obama and Vice President Biden. Everyone braves extremely cold temperatures to attend this historic event.
2009 - The department places a new KME Pumper into service as Engine 44-2. The truck replaces a 1991 KME.