In March 1954, the city and rural fire departments moved into their new station at 13251 Central Avenue, making the area the new civic center. The firemen built the bunk beds, office files, and storage space designated for first aid equipment, hoses, and fittings. The firemen took great pride in maintaining their living quarters and equipment. A strict emphasis was placed on daily inspections and equipment cleaning to ensure readiness.
The new fire station was dedicated to fire chief Art Wagner. The firemen and the city council presented a dedication plaque to him.
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 a single truck with 24 volunteer firemen to nine paid, full-time firemen 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.