History tells us that the City of Frankfort has had tax supported fire service since the early 1820's.
In those days, the fire department consisted of eight men who served as engineers. These men took command at any fire alarm and conducted regular fire drills. They also made sure that the engine (horse drawn) was properly attended to and they were given the power to require the assistance of any citizen at a fire alarm. Anyone who refused was liable to a fine.
Fire Prevention Program
The department also had its own fire prevention program, requiring that every household had one two-gallon leather bucket for up to three fireplaces in each home. Owners of rental property were also required to supply the required number of buckets to their tenants. Any property owners who failed to supply the required number of buckets were subject to a fine of one dollar per month for each bucket he was deficient. The buckets were the major firefighting tool during those early days and every firefighter was required to bring his buckets when he reported to a fire alarm or a drill. If he forgot his buckets, he faced a two dollar fine.
An ordinance passed by the Common Council (known today as the City Commission) on January 24, 1895 to establish and maintain a fire company and prescribing rules and regulations for the government thereof. The members of the Fire Department, the Fire Chief, Hydrantman, Drivers (Hose Wagon and Hook and Ladder Wagon), Pipeman and two Runners were elected by the Common Council and were to hold office for one year. The annual re-election was scheduled for the December meeting. The Fire Chief was to receive an annual salary of $240. The Hydrantman, Drivers, and Pipeman were to receive an annual salary of $540 and the Runners received $96 a year.
Visit the photo gallery for a historical view of the Frankfort Fire and EMS.