Staunton Fire Department 100 years old


In 1923, the Staunton Fire Department was ready to roll. Pictured are Dave Williams, Harry Kuehen, Walter Fritz, Vic Benetti, Emil Rahm and Walter Stiegemeier with the department's new 1923 REO fire engine.

On Feb. 2, 1923, the Staunton Volunteer Fire Department officially came into existence with a vote of the Staunton City Council. A 1923 REO fire engine with an open cab and 250-gallon-per-minute pump had already been purchased, so now they just needed the manpower to respond to fires.

At that same meeting, Mayor Paul D. Weiss appointed Tony Safko as fire chief. Chief Safko then appointed Charles Franz and Walter Stiegemeier as assistant chiefs. A total of 20 members signed on as the initial members of the department, each paying $1 as a membership fee. The department was supported by the city...

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