On April 9, 1884, a large fire destroyed the business of J.H. Grieme
and the home of J.C. Day. Residents formed a bucket brigade, but were
unable to save either building. A number of Ludlow citizens decided
that a fire department was a necessity. On May 5, 1884, the first officers
of the Ludlow Independent Fire Company No. 1 were chosen. The officers
were: William Bentley (president), G. Ritchie (vice president), William
Rigdon (secretary), and W. Donaldson (treasurer). Bentley and Ritchie
donated the first fire equipment: a chemical apparatus mounted on wheels
with 50 feet of hose.
City Council aided the work of the department by constructing a number
of cisterns in the middle of several of the city's major intersections.
These cisterns provided water for the department to fight fires.
The first motorized equipment was purchased in 1917. It was a Model
T Ford hose and chemical truck. Eventually, the entire department was
motorized, leaving the company's two horses unemployed in 1926. The
original firehouse was a one-story frame structure located in the two
hundred block of Oak Street. In 1923, a bond issue provided the funds
to built a new combination city hall and firehouse. The old firehouse
and city hall were demolished and the new structure was built. This
building is still used today by the fire department.
and life squad service began in Ludlow in 1932. Originally, patients
were placed on the back of a fire truck and transported to one of the
local doctor's offices or the hospital. In 1934, the department purchased
the first ambulance (a $400.00 1933 Ford). The Ludlow life squad was
one of the earliest in Kenton County. Members of the Ludlow department
helped train members for new departments in Bromley, Elsmere, Erlanger,
Oak Ridge, Point Pleasant, Taylor Mill and Winston Park.
The head of the life squad company received the rank of captain. The
early captains were Joel Clore (1932-1936), John W. Bruce (1935-1964)
and Paul Seibert.
More recent improvements include the purchase of a refurbished aerial
truck in 1987 and the installation of 911 service in the city in 1988.
In 1989, the city financed the construction of a three-bay addition
to the firehouse.
Kentucky Post, May 17, 1982, p. 4k; Ludlow Celebrates, 1864-1989,