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Our First Truck

The History of the Dover Fire Department

Dover has experienced numerous fires in the past, most notably the business district fire in1930 and the Dover High school in 1942.

In 1948 the town leaders began plans to organize a fire department. Homeowners were accessed a fire tax which enabled Dover to purchase a 1937 one ton Chevy truck which was converted into a fire truck by Ivan Pullen school superintendent and instructor Delmer Boley. Both men worked after hours in the school shop donating their time and labor. The truck had a 500GPM front mounted Darley pump and a 750 gallon steel tank. Due to the fact that Dover did not have a municipal water system at the time, the tank was fitted with a hinged lid to allow the tank to be filled by a "bucket brigade" It could also fill from draft at the Illinois Bayou and McCoy creek.

In 1949 W. M. Willams bank president became the first official fire chief and served until 1967. Other Chiefs that have served are Bob Campbell, Fred McCain, Terry Dover, John Taylor and David Jones. In the early sixties the 1937 fire truck was joined by a 1957 International 500 GPM military surplus foam pumper. In 1963 Dover built a municipal water system and in 1968 purchased a 1967/ 68 Howe/ Chevrolet 750 GPM pumper which remained in service until 2008. This truck along with upgrades to the water system allowed Dover to be rewarded a class eight insurance rating in late 1968. This saved the citizens of Dover hundreds of dollars. In 1992 the department built a 750 GPM pumper on a 1969 chassis which remained in service until replaced in 1997 by a 1996 Freightliner 1500 GPM rescue style pumper. In 1997 the Dover City Fire Department purchased a hydraulic rescue tool (Jaws of Life) and began providing rescue services to the citizens of Dover. Also that year long-range plans were implemented to lower Dover's insurance ratings.

In 2002 Dover received a grant to purchase a used 4wd Chevrolet service truck (AKA the Beast) and procured another grant to equip it to ISO (Insurance Service Organization) standards. In 2004 Dover received a FEMA grant and purchased a used 4wd Dodge mini pumper for grass and woods fires.

In 2004 all the planning and hard work finally paid off and Dover lowered its ISO rating from a class 8 to a class 4 rating. This saved the citizens of Dover over 50% on their insurance premiums.

The present day Dover City Fire department is the direct result of countless hours of hard work and planning by all of the firemen that came before us. The Dover City fire Department will continue to grow and prosper on this solid foundation.

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