"A volunteer fire department was a certainty" was a statement made April 12, 1953, when Lt. Col. William Drews, Kenton, Ohio, announced that a huge Seagraves pumper, a tractor trailer outfit, was to be assigned to the Fourth Area Civil Defense Corps. and located in Roundhead. When the combination pumper-tanker arrived, Roundhead was ready for it. Volunteers eager to join the department had been trained to man the equipment. The volunteers, aided by funds from Roundhead village appropriations proceeded to build the cement block firehouse to house the equipment that was to bring fire protection to the little community.
The Civil defense rig was one of about 20 assigned to vital areas in Ohio. The tractor of the rig carried a 500 gpm pump and the trailer, a 2000 gal. tank.
Instrumental in establishing the department was the Roundhead V.F.W. post. It's members made up the bulk of the new volunteers. The post paid half the cost of hiring qualified firemen from Lima to train the men. The other half was furnished by state and federal funds.
Through hours of volunteer labor, the present addition to the firehouse was accomplished in 1980. In February of 1980 a new Ford 1000 gallon pumper, 750 gpm pump was added. In 1981, new turnout gear and fire hose was purchased. Other additions include a 1969 GMC equipment van, 1968 grass rig, and a 2000 International with a 3250 gal. tank. Most recently in 2007 we purchased a 2008 Ford F-350 as a grass/rescue vehicle and were awarded a grant from the federal government for all new SCBA's and turnout gear.
Article from the Lima News on Feb. 21, 1954. Used with permission and reads as follows:
Roundhead's community fire department is unusual in several ways, one of which is having a fully certified woman fire fighter among the 14 members.
Mrs. Ruth Henkle is certified, like other members of the department as having completed 40 hours of instruction in fire fighting skills and techniques. Her husband, the late K C Henkle, also completed the course before his death and his name appears on the certificate presented by Capt. Stephen G Yaney, of the Lima fire department, who was instructor for the training.
Second point of difference from most volunteer fire departments is that the Roundhead organization is the official Fourth Area Civil Defense fire fighting unit, equipped with a Seagrave pumper and 2000.......
Byron E Osborn is Chief of the department and the other members are Mrs. Henkle, Emery Canfield, Eugene and Robert D Cox, Wilson F Dodds, Roger Harpster, Merle E Harvey, William W Hurley, Floyd R Hites, U J McGinnis, R T Mercer, Milo L Rumer and Clyde Vermillion.
The fire fighting unit was organized and equipped under the direction of Lt. Col. William E Drews, Kenton, Fourth Area CD commander. Its primary duty is for civil defense fire fighting in case of enemy attack or civil disaster.
Caption under photographs:
Members of the Roundhead fire department are seen here with the special equuipment made available by the Civil Defense Administration. Pictured with fire truck in top photo are, left to right, standing: Capt. Stephen Yaney, Lima, vocational instructor: Fire Chief Emery Canfield, Capt. Byron Osborn, Mrs. Ruth Henkle, secretary, Alvin Rostofer, Floyd Hites, Milo Rumer, William Hurley.........