Department History

Soon after incorporation of the City in 1836, village officials saw the need for fire protection.  The Fire Department at that time was established as the "Bucket and Ladder Company".  It consisted of volunteers from the community.  In those times, fire protection consisted of strategically placed ladders and buckets throughout the City that could be quickly accessed by members of the Fire Department.  Fines could be assessed if this equipment was found to be used for anything other than fighting a fire.  Property owners could also be fined for not having a bucket for the purpose of firefighting.   
Continuing through the mid to late 1800s, the Fire Department procured more equipment and responsibilities.  Hooks with ropes were purchased to pull down houses so that fire would not spread from house to house.  Horse drawn fire apparatus was also acquired to haul the fire equipment.  At that time compensation was made to whoever could get their horses hooked up to the wagon and respond to the fire first.  Taxes were also established to fund the fire protection equipment and services.
1888 brought the formation of a Volunteer Fire Department.  The Volunteer Fire Department was a more formal and organized approach than was in place.  With the formation of the Volunteer Fire Department, a focus was placed on acquiring new more modern equipment and examining how other towns were housing their apparatus.  Within the next few years the Volunteer Fire Department was re-organized as a Fire Company.
In 1923. City Council approved the purchase of a new motorized fire engine and in 1924 the Fire Company took delivery of the new pumper.  This apparatus was a Biederman-Prospect with a 350 gallon per minute pump.

In 1923, an agreement was made with Terrace Park to provide them with fire protection since they did not have anything in place.

In 1945 the Fire Company discussed the need for a second fire engine and purchased a 1945 Seagrave Pumper.  This truck is still owned and used to this day.  The truck is no longer in service as a fire apparatus, but is used for display and public relations events.
In 1947, the Milford Volunteer Fire Department was re-established.  At this time the department also covered areas of Miami Township.  The tradition of Santa Sunday, which still is done today, was started around this time as well.  Santa Sunday is when Santa is escorted around town on a fire truck, and treats are passed out to children.
1959 brought the organization of the first "Life Squad" to provide emergency medical service to the community.  In 1960 the Milford Life Squad was organized by Police Chief Earl Konrad.  Prior to the organized Life Squad, emergency medical service was provided by funeral homes in town.  The Milford Life Squad was a separate organization from the Milford Volunteer Fire Department.
From 1964 through 1981 the Milford Life Squad was re-organized and operated as the Milford Miami Township Life Squad.
A Ladies Auxiliary was formed in 1969 to support the fire department.  Duties included assisting firefighters at fires.

In the early 1970s the Department began planning to build a new fire station.  The station would provide better accommodations for fulfilling the responsibilities of the Fire Department.

The City decided that to best serve the community, a private fire company should be formed and contracted by the City.  Milford Community Fire Department, Incorporated as it is in place today was formed in 1980.
Starting in the 1980s, the Milford Miami Township EMS operated from a building on Wolfpen Pleasant Hill in Miami Township and moved into a second building on the property of Greenlawn Cemetery in Milford.  The cemetery building used is still in place today and used by the City.
Fire Chief John E. Cooper Sr., who had been Chief since 1978, was put in place as the Fire Departments first full-time employee in 1982.  Two additional full-time personnel were hired in 1986 to provide more rapid response to emergencies and to perform support functions such as fire inspections.  
In 1984, construction was completed on a new station, which is where the department operates out of today.  The fire station at 18 Main Street was still used and housed one engine.
In 1994, the contract with the City was amended to include Emergency Medical Services.  At the same time Miami Township formed its own Fire and EMS department and likewise took over providing Emergency Medical Services to Miami Township.

This change in service also required a change in staffing.  While volunteers still provided much of the staffing, paid personnel on station were needed to provide better service to the community.  Full-time and part-time paramedics were hired, many from the formerly organized Milford Miami Township EMS.

In the late 90s the current fire station was renovated, with additions made to accommodate equipment and personnel.  This renovation allowed equipment from the fire station in Old Milford, and personnel and equipment from the EMS station at the Cemetery to now be under one roof.
Since 1978, John E. Cooper Sr. has served the community as the Chief of MCFD.  Almost 40 years later, at the end of 2015, Chief Cooper marked the end of his tenure as Chief and "passed on the torch", to begin a new chapter in his life as a retiree.  In 2013, Mark Baird was brought on as an Assistant Chief to prepare him for the transition to Chief.  January 1st 2016 marks Chief Baird's first official day as the Chief of the Department.  Chief Baird brings experience from several departments, the most recent as Chief of New Richmond Fire and EMS.  He continues MCFD's direction and long history of community focus.



Starting the year in 2016 we have grown to 13 full-time personnel, 1 Administrative Assistant, approximately 25 part-time personnel, and 4 volunteers.  There are personnel on station 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, ready to respond to emergencies.  Almost all of our paid personnel are dual trained for both firefighting and emergency medical service, and are able to serve in both roles.