Department overview including primary response area along with a history lesson.
Overview of the SCAFD first responders.
Overview of the SCAFD fire hall and apparatus.
We have compiled a list of the most frequent questions we receive and provided the appropriate answers.
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.
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.