Department History

The earliest record of a fire department in Benton Ridge is 1877.  In August
of that year, the village council paid Jonathon George $6.50 for three good
ladders for the fire service.  By 1915, the village had two, single cylinder, hand
drawn fire engines.  In 1938, one of the fire engines was mounted on a Ford
chassis so it could be pulled behind a car.  In 1950, through the joint efforts of
the village council under mayor D.E. Knepper, the Blanchard Township
Volunteer Fire Department was organized.  James Cornely was appointed the
First Fire Chief.  The fire department was provided a new Pumper, tanker,
and fire siren during its first year.  During the early 1950's, three wells were drilled
in the village to supply water.  In 1957, a new water wagon was purchased to
provide additional water at the fire scene. In 1962, a special phone system was
installed where an incoming fire call rings the phones in ten locations.  In 1973,
through joint funding by both the village council and the Blanchard Township
Trustees each fireman was provided a complete fire fighting outfit for improved
personal safety of the firemen.  In 1975, a new tanker was obtained and a new
pumper was on order.  In addition, a new fire house was under construction at
the NE corner of Coleman Road and Jackson Road (TR125).  The fire
department also became a member of the Hancock County Firefighters Association.
Courses in fire fighting were taken by the fire department in
1951, 1956, 1959, 1965, 1969, 1972, and 1975.  Additional training has been
obtained through special training schools offered at Bowling Green State Fire
School and locally.  The fire department currently consists of 19 men and
women. Our Fire Department proudly serves Blanchard Township
and the rural community of Benton Ridge. Our area covers 36 sq. miles and
approximately 1170 residence. We operate from 1 station which is located at
102 Coleman Rd. Our Department consists of 1 Pumper,
  2 Tankers,  1 Brush Truck  and 19 volunteer's. Our Dept. is led by
Chief Dave Lucas with 21 years experience. We are members of
the Hancock County Volunteer Firemans Association and the Northwestern
Ohio Volunteer Firemans Association.Mutual aid for major fires comes from McComb Fire,
Mt Cory Fire, Liberty Twp. Fire, Rawson Fire in Hancock County and Pandora Fire
and Gilboa Fire Departments in Putnam County.

The Following men have served the fire department as officers:

James Cornely (1950-1955),  Walter Light (1956-1958),  Dale Downing
(1959-1960),  Keith Jackson (1961-1963),  Walter Light (1964-1966),
Charles Hanna Jr. (1967-1968),  Don Diller (1969-1971), Marvin Kennedy Jr.
1972-1994),  Robert Schoonover Jr. (1995-2014)  Robert Crawford (2015-2017)
Dave Lucas (2018)

Adolph Hoenicke (1954-1956),  Keith Jackson (1957-1958), Derald Sands
(1959), Charles Hanna Jr. (1960),  James Montgomery (1961-1962),  James
Clark (1963),  William Butler (1964-1965),  Gordon Fisher (1966),  Ralph
Burner (1967-1968),  Marvin Kennedy Jr. (1969-1970),  Eldon Moffitt (1971),
Eddie Fisher (1972-1973),  George Waldman (1974-1975) Robert Crawford
(1985), Carl Pickens (1986), Delbert Settlemire (1987), Carl Pickens (1988-1996)
Robert Schoonover (1996-2014) James Amstutz (2015)  Cody Launder (2016)

The first tanker which was purchased
in early 1950.


A group picture of the members from the early 1950's.




Edited and Compiled by William C. Jones    Benton Ridge Pictorial History

George Pearson1951 - 1971Elmer Smith 1951 - 1970
Dale Downing1951 - 1961Jim Cornely1951 - 1967
Walter Light1953 - 1967Derol Monday1954 - 1975
M. E. Knepper1954 - 1968Faye Wakefield1955 - 1968
Merle Butler1956 - 1967Roger Flick1957 - 1975
James Williams1957 - 1970Cliff Peterson1961 - 1975
Carl Butler1966 - 1973Robert O. Rector1973 - 1978
Gene Ackerman1968 - 1979George Mullett1971 - 1979
A. G. Hoenicke1951 - 1982Ed Shulaw1951 - 1978
Tim Jackson1977 - 1986Keith Jackson1954 - 1986
Ralph Burner1959 - 1986Ralph Shachelford1971 - 1976
Charles Hanna1955 - 1992Marvin Kennedy1968 - 1993
Carl Pickens1975 -1997Bill Butler1954 - 1999

Blanchard Township volunteer Firefighters
all rights reserved
all pictures copyrighted, 2000
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