The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1897 by a group of citizens to protect their own property and businesses as well as others. The first meeting was held October 5, 1897 with the first appointed Chief being M.E. Nafus. On November 2, 1897, Charles Sherard was the first elected Chief. He served in that position until June 7, 1898. Listed under separate heading are the men who have served as elected Chief to this department. In the past 122 years, there have been only 22 Chiefs.
At the time of organization, the equipment consisted of hand-pulled carts with buckets and a horse drawn wagon. It wasn’t until 1916 when the town purchased its first fire engine, which was a 1916 Reo Chemical Truck. The storage of fire equipment started in the still existing downtown area in private businesses or garages. Men were summoned by the sound of a big bell ringing. It is popular opinion that the bell on display at the existing fire station on Commercial Ave to be that same bell. As years passed and fire engines were purchased, they kept them at the Old Police Station, Town Hall and what is also known today as the Olde Towne Square.
Over the years, many expansions were made to better serve the people. Many different pieces of equipment were added including water trucks, grass trucks and emergency units. The first water truck was purchased by the volunteers in 1936. At that time, as it is today, many departments buy second hand trucks and build their own.
In 1950, Cedar Creek Township built a new station at Fremont and Jefferson Streets. The Township still owns the building and is now housing the Cedar Creek Trustee and a Community Building.
In 1971 the Lowell Volunteer Fire Department became Lowell Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. We became a not-for-profit corporation because of the changing times and growth. The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. is still growing and progressing each year to provide the people of our community the best in protection. In 1976, Cedar Creek Township purchased their first tanker and shortly after that, the volunteers added a second unit.
After many years of growth and still in the 80s, we were keeping fire units outside and at different locations. Through a lot of effort, planning and fighting, the Town of Lowell built out now existing Fire Station located at 1331 Commercial Ave in Lowell. The entire station was built and paid for totally by the town, and also the volunteers completed a good portion of the building. The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department moved into the building on June 3rd, 1983 where it remains to operate to the present day.
The membership of the volunteer department has varied since organizing in 1897. From records we have, the roster in the early days and up until the late 1940’s, was approximately 20-30 members. From the 1940’s to the later 1960’s and early 1970’s there were just 12 to 16 members at all times. It did grow from there and we have had many years of dedicated service to the department and community. As of 1997, there have been 64 retired members with 10 years or more of service. Back to 1897, the men have been recognized by placing their name on a large plaque displayed at the station with the years of service.
The Lowell Volunteer Fire Department, Inc is still growing and progressing each year to provide the people of our community the best in protection.