In March 1954, the City and Rural Fire Departments moved into their new station at 13251 Central Avenue, then the new Civic Center. The firemen built the bunk beds, office files, and storage space for first aid equipment, hoses, and fittings. Firemen take great pride in their equipment and living quarters, and strict emphasis is placed on the continual inspection of all emergency equipment. It is important for them to have ample room to move each piece of equipment for inspection and cleaning. A shift never assumes the equipment is ready for service; inspections are made daily to ensure its readiness.
The new fire station was dedicated to Fire Chief Art Wagner, and a dedication plaque was presented to him by the firemen and the City Council.
Positions Start to Change
In June 1956, Art Wagner resigned as Fire Chief of the City and Rural Fire Departments. In his 32 years of service as a Volunteer Fireman and Chief, Wagner saw the department grow from one small truck and 24 volunteers to nine paid, full-time men and six units of fire equipment, augmented by 20 volunteers.
In July 1956, Howard Schroyer was appointed Fire Chief of the City and Rural Fire Departments. Schroyer was a progressive, fair and hard-working Chief. Under his guidance, the department grew to 14 paid, full-time personnel and seven units of fire equipment. Schroyer resigned from the position in October 1959, and in November, Lester Hemstreet was appointed temporary Chief of the City and Rural Fire Departments. In July 1960, Hemstreet was officially appointed Chief of the two departments.