Fire Department celebrates 90 years of service

by Dan Holland

Hundreds of area residents turned out on May 18 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Richfield Fire Department.

Attendees were treated to food trucks, a raffle with items donated by local businesses, corn hole and other activities.

Former Richfield Fire Chief Phil McLean narrated a slide presentation documenting the history of the fire department, and Ohio Representative Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) presented a proclamation to Fire Chief George Seifert acknowledging the department’s 90 years of service.

As part of the event, current and past firefighter/EMS personnel and staff members pushed the department’s new fire pumper truck back into the bay; a tradition dating back to days when fire pumps were horse drawn and had to be disconnected and pushed manually into a bay.

Pierce Manufacturing delivered the new pumper truck last month. The new vehicle cost $789,000 and replaces a 2006 pumper that will be sold. It was ordered three years ago, according to Seifert.

“It’s a little smaller in size, but we have a lot of tight driveways here,” said Seifert. “It has much better technology; better safety features, better computers and the pumps are different. It’s really quite an advancement from our old truck.”

Kyle and Ashley Cottos, of Sagamore Hills, attended the event with children Carter and Charlotte, along with Ashley’s father, Richfield resident Alan Fassinger.

“They wanted to help push in the new truck today,” said Ashley Cottos. “My mom told the kids there would be food trucks here, and [Charlotte] asked if the ‘penguin truck’ – Kona Ice – was going to be here.”

Nicholas and Rachel Marcellino, of Richfield, decked out both of their daughters in firefighter apparel for the celebration.

Richfield residents Movses and Melania Tovmasyan brought their children Joshua, Hrach, Aida and Gohar to take in the festivities. “We’re enjoying all the activities and a game of corn hole today,” said Movses. “And we’re getting in a double celebration today for my wife’s birthday.”

“I’m so proud to be here in Richfield on the 90th anniversary of the Richfield Fire Department,” said Roemer. “It’s amazing when you consider the amount of effort the men and women of the Richfield Fire Department over the last 90 years have put in to keep us all safe. They do a wonderful job, and I’m very appreciative that there are men and women willing to sacrifice to keep us all safe.”

“It’s amazing to see the progress that we’ve made from that first little $4,000 fire engine to the millions of dollars of equipment we have today and the level of paramedics we have,” said Mayor Michael Wheeler. “The number of lives that are saved every year in this town – you can’t put a value on that and the significance of that.” ∞

Ohio Rep. Bill Roemer presents Fire Chief George Seifert with a proclamation acknowledging the Richfield Fire Department’s 90 years of service.

Ashley and Kyle Cottos of Sagamore Hills, and children Carter and Charlotte, are in the new pumper truck with their grandfather, Alan Fassinger, of Richfield.

Richfield Police Det. Ryan Kellackey, with children Bennett and Maelyn, stand in front of the new pumper truck.

Photo (main/above:) Current and past Richfield firefighters/EMS personnel and staff push the new pumper truck into the fire bay.