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History


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Newport Volunteer Fire Department

            The Newport Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1957 by the Newport Men’s Civic Club.  Members met in the school gymnasium until the fire house was completed in 1960.  The land on Route 7 was donated by the late Dr. and Mrs. George H. Gale and the late Miss Mary Gale.  The cost of the building and firefighting equipment at that time was $45,000.  The department finances its operations through the Fourth of July celebration and a tax (1 ½ mill) levy and public donations from the community.  In 1992, the fire dept. was able to acquire a Bingo license, and Bingo was started as a fund-raising operation in November of 1992.  The department serves Newport Township and parts of Independence Township.  They also have a Mutual Aid agreement with St. Marys Fire Dept. (W. Va.)

            There have been 5 fire chiefs: Dave Edgar, Harold “Dutch” Lauer, Steve McMahan and the current chief, David Casto.  [Only four were listed. Lynn Gibson was the first Fire Chief]

            The emergency squad is a branch of the dire department.  Each squad member is also a member of the fire department.  The squad began in early 1976 when Jack Boley organized the first training class.  There were 21 EMTs certified in December of 1976 for the first time. Presently there are 16 certified EMTs in the department with a few serving as both EMTs and firemen.  The squad made its first run on March 9, 1977, in the new Horton van purchased by the department.  A second Ford van was purchased used in 1987, and the Horton van was traded in.  This is the current ambulance. 

            The first squad captain was Jack Boley.  Following in Jack’s place as squad leader were Carolyn Casto, Lowell Eddy, Nancy Holpp, and Don Brilliant who is currently serving in that capacity as of January, 1993.  Squad Lieutenant is Bill Greene.  The squad currently meets once a month to go over squad runs, train, have an occasional program and sometimes have training programs along with Pleasants County Squad.  Squad members have a shift schedule made up once a month and mostly run one night a week and every other weekend with 4 EMTs on each shift.  There is no charge for runs within the township but donations are accepted. 

            In 1992, the fire dept. building was remodeled and many improvements were made to the building itself including insulation and paneling installed, new heating and air conditioning unit put upstairs, new windows throughout the building, etc.  Also in 1992, a brand new Ford mini-pumper was bought with the help of a grant from the County.  This is the first brand new vehicle purchased since 1976.

            In 1992, we also were lucky enough to have our first paramedic trained.  Don Brilliant trained and took classes for a whole year to become a paramedic.  We are all very proud of his accomplishments.  We are now able to carry a defibrillator for which we may all be trained on it’s use.  We presently have a fund drive going in the community to purchase this piece of equipment which is very expensive.