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History of the Rootstown Volunteer Fire Company

On January 21st, 1938, the Rootstown Township Trustees, Mervin Smith, Harold Dundon, and Ernest Royer held a special meeting with about 35 citizens to consider organizing a volunteer fire department. About 28 residents of Rootstown Township volunteered to support and organize the Rootstown Fire Department. During 1938, many volunteers started to organize the framework, known as the Rootstown Volunteer Fire Company. On October 20th, 1938 the Rootstown Volunteer Fire Company incorporated with the State of Ohio as a corporation not for profit.

The original fire station was located under the town hall on State Route 44 behind the First Congregational Church of Rootstown. This station housed a 1938 Dodge Pumper, a 1000 gallon Ford Tanker and an ambulance that was stored in a buggy shed.

As the Rootstown community grew, so did the needs of the fire department. A new station was needed to house the larger, heavier trucks. On July 26th, 1954 an acre lot was purchased from the John Kaiser family on Tallmadge Road to build the new station. With over 3,228 hours of donated man-hours and at a cost of $4,505.28, the new station was built. In January 1954, the Portage County Firefighters Association meeting was hosted there even though the station was not fully operational until January 23rd, 1956. The station was functional until the completion of the current station in September 2002.

From 1938 until 1997 the Rootstown Fire Company proudly responded to calls with volunteer firefighters and EMT’s. In 1996, the residents of Rootstown Township approved a 2.85 mill fire levy to hire full time members to meet the needs or our delivery system. This levy pays the salaries of our full time and part time members to staff the station.

The department is managed by a Chief, 3 Captains, 3 Lieutenants, and a Fire Marshal. The department is divided into three shifts, rotating each day. On a daily basis there are two full time 24 hour shifts, one full time 8 hour shift, two part time 9 hour shifts, and the Fire Chief. This accounts for up to six response personnel during the day and two at night. During evening hours, when station staffing is at two, personnel from the respective shift, respond from home.

Full time personnel must be an EMT-Paramedic, Level II professional firefighter, & Hazardous Materials Technician. Part time personnel must be a minimum Level II professional firefighter and an EMT-Basic to work station hours. All members must maintain various training criteria annually to meet state mandated continuing education in both EMS and fire. Although training may be paid for by the department, the members still donate hundreds of hours each year to the community. These hours vary from weekly training sessions to paramedic schooling which lasts a year.

The Rootstown Fire Department responds to all forms of emergency calls which include; fires, medical emergencies, vehicle accidents, hazardous material releases, carbon monoxide emergencies, and severe weather incidents. The department is actively involved with the Portage County Department of Homeland Security and the Portage County Hazardous Materials response team. Programs we are proud to provide for the citizens include Community First Alert Emergency Notification Service, Residential Rapid Access Program, blood pressure checks, invalid assistance, fire safety prevention and education, and child car seat safety inspections.

Each and every member of the Rootstown Fire Department is proud to serve our community. We value your continued support and we will continue to try and provide the citizens of Rootstown the best emergency response service possible. Please go to our web site; www.rootstowntwp.com for more information about our organization and what we can do for you.