An Aging Fleet & a New Chief
Rusting of the Fleet
By the 1980s, the fleet was rusting at an alarming rate. The steel used in manufacturing fire trucks and their water tanks in the sixties and seventies was very prone to rusting. One could often find the scene of a fire just by following the trail of water from leaking water tanks. The department purchased two 1983 Mack MC model pumpers to start replacing the rusted models.
In 1984, the department bought three Sutphen pumpers built on Pemfab chassis to replace the rest of the front-line pumpers. A Sutphen 85-foot tower ladder was purchased in 1985. In 1994, the department also received two vehicles, a pumper and a heavy-duty rescue, from the Marion Company. Both were built on Spartan chassis.
Chief James Verda
On September 26, 1997, Chief Yost suffered a fatal heart attack. He was buried with full honors after a funeral mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal James Verda was named acting chief at the time of Yost’s death. Six months later, Verda was appointed chief. Chief Verda had been working for the department since 1959.
The 21st Century
See what the Fire Department has been doing in the 21st century