We thank you for visiting our website and taking the time to view our department’s history. However, due to the lack of record keeping, a lot of our departments history is lost. The information written below is from an article that appeared in the Avilla News on November 21, 1985.The information was given then by the late Chief Terry L. Brazzell, a 35 year dedicated member of the department and our Fire Chief for over 28 years. We are able to do a timeline of key events from newspaper articles and from what Chief Brazzell passed along to us from the times he remembered as a kid being raised around the fire department to 2010 when he passed away. on. The Avilla Fire Department has obviously seen and went threw many positive changes over the years. Going from hand - horse drawn carts to today 6 pieces of specialized apparatus, going from fire phones to pagers that can reach firefighters from several miles away, from rubber coats and gloves that could melt in the smallest fire to PBI bunker gear that can hold up to temperatures above 200 degrees! Some of the most important things that have been passed down since the formation of our fire department that has never changed, nor never will in our department is the strong dedication and pride our members take into providing the best possible services to our community. We take our jobs as firefighters serious, we work hard and train hard. We are thankful for what we have in the sense of equipment and that our community and local governments stand behind us in a supportive way. Another thing that has never changed is the sense of family in our department. When you become a member of our department you also gain a family. Since the beginning of the fire department we have always been known to be close and socialize outside the fire department, sometimes this has lead to trouble like any service organization, however overall it is been a very positive aspect to our department.
The Avilla Fire Department was originally formed on December 10, 1929 with 13 members and Riley Hostetter as the Fire Chief. However records indicate that this department provided less than one year of service to the town of Avilla and it is unknown why the department ceased operations. On October 17, 1935 the Fire Department was reorganized with 15 members and Ray Fisher as the Fire Chief. This department was responsible to provide service to all of the town of Avilla, Allen Township and most of La Otto and Swan Township. When the LaOtto Fire Department was organized the Avilla Fire Department ceased responding to the LaOtto area. At some point in time the Avilla Fire Department was also known as the Avilla Fire - Police Department. The original fire station shared its building with the police department, clerk and utilities, this building was located on South Main Street directly off the downtown. For many years the only equipment the fire department had was hand - horse drawn hose carts. It is unknown for sure when the first motorized vehicle was put into service, however we do know that the department for many years used a 1948 Dodge fire engine, until 1979.1968 was a big year for the department in the sense of apparatus, the Town of Avilla purchased a brand new fire engine, a 1968 Ford - Howe engine, this truck was in service until the summer of 1997, also that year the Avilla American Legion Post # 240 purchased and donated to the department a white 1968 Chevrolet van, this was the first actual true Rescue Unit put into service in Noble County., this unit was in service until 1995 when the department purchased a state of the art heavy duty Rescue Truck.
In 1943 the fire station was relocated to a building on Washington Street that had two bays, this would be the home of the fire department until 1959 when the fire station was moved next door to the east in an old automobile repair shop at the intersection of Main and Washington Streets. The fire department has been at this location ever sense. In 1986 the automobile repair shop building was torn down and a state of the art building was started after one of the fire trucks fell threw the bay floor and into the basement while attempting to back into the fire station after a routine road test, the current fire station was completed and dedicated in June of 1987.