About Us

Department Overview

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Department overview including primary response area along with a history lesson.

Officers and Firefighters

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Overview of the SCAFD first responders.

Fire Apparatus & Hall

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Overview of the SCAFD fire hall and apparatus.

Question and Answer

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We have compiled a list of the most frequent questions we receive and provided the appropriate answers.

Overview of the SCFD

The Saint Clair Fire Department consists of approximately 30 members who volunteer their time to benefit the community in which they live.  SCFD firefighters are Michigan certified Firefighters (Level 1 or 2) and licensed Medical First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, or Paramedics.


  

The SCFD's primary response area includes 54 square miles within the following boundary areas:


- To the East, the United States side of the international border within the Saint Clair River

- To the South, Recor Road near the East China Township Park and the Detroit Edison Saint Clair Power Plant

- To the North, Davis Road at the City of Marysville city limit

- To the West, portions of Interstate 94 and Mayer Road.

Department History

A brief history of the SCFD

 

The Origins


In the beginning there were great storms that raged over our planet. These storms helped shape the seas, skies, and land. These storms had static energies we call lightening. Lightening would strike a forest, burning it down to a barren wasteland. 


In time this waste land would flourish and re-grow into something more than what existed before. The lightening created new beginnings for the plants, trees, and grass. This is the cycle of nature. As the creature we call man appeared on the planet, man became a civilization, civilization would grow with nature surrounding them. Civilization learned that the fires caused by nature could supply warmth and light. When civilization learned how to harness the power of fire, he found, (the power) could get out of control and cause tremendous damage to life and property. 


As civilization grew people realized the need to protect themselves from this sudden uncontrolled rage of fire. People learned to fight back to stop this uncontrolled force we call fire. Hence, we have firefighters. People that would put themselves in harms way to save their neighbors' life or property from the uncontrolled inferno.


History Timeline Highlights


The first organized St. Clair Fire Department was founded in October of 1874. 


Before then, when an alarm was sounded, a steam operated whistle at the water works, in town would sound and anyone capable of pulling a two-wheeled hose cart ran for one of the three hose houses which were located in the first, second, and third wards of town.


Record books from the years 1874 through 1904 have not been found.. In the fire station we have the record books starting with 1904 to the present.


1904, the Chief was Mr. D.P. Ingles and Mr. George Beyschlag was foreman. The position foreman later became First Assistant Chief.

1905, the department elected Mr. John P. Whiting as Chief and Mr. George Beyschlag retained the office of foreman.

1911, Mr. Abner Wilson was elected secretary of the fire department and held that office until 1960.

1907, a modern fire department began with the purchase of a horse-drawn hose wagon.

1912, George Beyschlag was elected Chief and Mr. Joseph Kulnlein was made foreman, a position he held until his death in 1914.

1915, Mr. A.A. Seward was elected foreman for 2 years.

1918, A special meeting was called by the department to discuss the purchase of a new fire truck. After meeting with the city council, it was decided to purchase a Maxwell truck to be housed and maintained by Mr. Seward in his garage, Mr. Seward being a distributor of Maxwell trucks and cars, this seemed to be most logical. This garage was in the vicinity of Burharts' beer garden, which is no longer in existence. but was west of M-29 on Trumble, in town. This truck had hard rubber tires,, was chain driven, had no cab or windshield, was equipped with a 50 gallon soda and acid tank, and carried 800 foot of 2 ½" hose to extinguish fires.

1921, John Caslor was elected Chief and Floyd Haar First Assistant.

1925, will be remembered as the year of the purchase of the new American LeFrance, a six cylinder pumper was chain driven had no cab or windshield, but, it did have pneumatic tires and was a right hand drive vehicle. This vehicle was sold off by the city and found by the department's members years later. The 1925 pumpter was purchased and restored to original condition. OLE' No. 25 can still be seen today in parades and special events.

1927, Mr. Floyd Haar was elected Chief, Mr. Clarence Norcott, First Assistant, and Mr. Fred Scheuricher was appointed to Second Assistant Chief. Mr. Norcott resigned Jan. 6, 1928 and was replaced by Leon Shedd on Feb 2, 1928.


During that time, the roll call varied and was not enough for a quorum to 17 members. At one time, the department had six pairs of boots for 17 men, a limited amount of hose and no extra tools to fight fires.



1931, Mr. Ab Wilson was appointed Second Assistant Chief along with the secretary's duties.

1934, Mr. T.R. Bower was elected First Assistant Chief and all other officers remained in office.

1935, Mr. Bower was elected Chief and Mr. Arthur Beaudua First Assistant Chief, Mr. Jack Miller Second Assistant Chief and Mr. Henry Frank treasurer. A change was made in the Second Assistant Chiefs' position as Mr. Jack Millet resigned and Mr. William. Laffrey was elected to the position. The Fire Department received orders from the city council that the fire truck was not to respond to fire calls in the township beyond the end of the of the city water mains, as we were operating with one fire truck and the city needed fire protection first. In view of this order we did serve the people of St. Clair and the township to the best of our ability. There were times when this was a real chase.

1937, Sherwood Mortinger was elected Second Assistant with all other officers remaining in their respective positions.

1939, The chemical tank was removed from the fire truck and a booster tank was installed.

1942, the state of Michigan purchased over 35 trucks for distribution in various parts of the state. These trucks varied in pump capacity from 500 GPM to 1000 GPM and the City of St. Clair was lucky to have one 500 GPM pumper delivered here, giving the Fire Department two pumpers, thus expanding our fire protection beyond the previous limits.

1944, Clyde Springborn was elected treasurer. After serving in this office for a short time.

1946, Clyde was elected Second Assistant Chief and Don Ross took over as treasurer. Mike Blanchard was elected Captain.

1947, A new American Le France truck was purchased by the city. This truck had a 750 GPM pump and a booster hose reel along with other equipment. The fire department sent a delegation to the Michigan State Fireman's Association convention in Sault Ste. Marie to try to get the upcoming 1948 convention in St. Clair. The delegation was successful and preparations were started for this project. which was considered a success partly because over 400 delegates attended the convention.. Don Ross resigned because he was moving out of the city. Raymond Moore was chosen as treasurer for the balance of the year.

1948, Ray was elected to that office.

1949, Our first resuscitator was purchased . Funds for the machine were donated by the Lions, Club Rotary Club, and the Fire Department. The Fire Department  operated on a routine basis until 

1955, Willliam Woods was elected Captain and a new fire truck was purchased.  The addition of the new truck resulted in a further crowded apparatus bay.  

1956, We returned the state truck to the State. Mr. T.R. Bower resigned and at the election of officers Mr. Arthur Beaudua waas elected Chief, Clyde Springborn was First Assistant, Carl Wagner was Second Assistant, and Nelson Westrick was selected as Captain.

1958, The city sold the 1925 fire truck and the department operated with two trucks.


More from the Saint Clair Fire Department history books will be forthcoming.   


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Questions and Answers

Where can I get information regarding burn permits?

For addresses in the City of St. Clair, China TWP, and East China TWP you may click the Burn Permit link at the top of this page and fill in the form.  


However, for addresses within St. Clair Township you may contact the Township office at 810.329.9042.

What is required for a open burn permit?

Please fill out the burn permit request form at the top of this page.  We will notify you once the permit has been issued.  


Please remember:

 

  • Fire MUST be physically attended to AT ALL TIMES.
  • Have extinguishing agents (Water / Fire Extinguisher) readily available.
  • DO NOT BURN on high wind days.
  • No brush / leave burning after dark (A Small bonfire is permitted)
  • You are responsible for your fire's smoke, ensure it does not interfere with others in  your area.

Where can I dispose of...

unused medications, medical supplies, fire extinguishers, batteries, flares, etc.?


The SCFD does NOT accept any items for disposal including the items listed above.  


Please contact your local pharmacy or waste disposal service for information regarding safe disposal options.

What is the difference between paid on-call (volunteer) and full-time fire departments?

You are not alone in asking this question.  The majority of firefighters in the United States are classified as volunteer.


The members of the SCFD are paid on-call volunteer firefighters.  Our firefighters must obtain a minimum of a Level 1 firefighting certificate issued by the State of Michigan in order to perform suppression activities on a fire ground.  


In order to obtain either a Level 1 or 2 certificate the firefighter must have completed a state approved fire academy, passed a written test, and passed all practical skills stations.  


The written test is based on a national curriculum and each fire academy must meet strict lecture and practical hours before the candidate will be allowed to sit for the exam.  

Why do I see civilian vehicles driving with flashing red lights and sirens activated?

Being a volunteer department, personnel need to respond as quickly and safely as possible from where ever they may be to render assistance in emergencies. The firefighter may also need to respond to the station to pick up the appropriate emergency apparatus or other equipment. All this needs to be done as quickly as possible because in an emergency seconds count. The emergency lights allow us to respond in the quickest and safest manner possible to help the community in an emergency. When the lights are activated, our vehicle is now an emergency response vehicle. Be sure to yield to this type of vehicle as any other type of emergency vehicle. 

Where can I get answers to other questions I have?

We are happy to serve our community and answers your questions related to the services we provide.  


You may call us, email us, or come by the station during administrative hours (normally M-F 8am-5pm).