Fire Department History
The Plain Township Fire Department was formed in 1943 with Richard Dickenson as Chief and a volunteer staff. A 1927 Dodge pumper truck was purchased to service the agricultural community. In 1944 a $20,000 bond issue was passed for the construction of a fire station on Second Street and a new engine. The first addition to the fire station was added in 1964-65 which consisted of two bays and a 20’ x 40’ meeting room. A second addition was built in 1979-80. The growth to the department by 1988 included a paid Chief and 30 volunteers. Eighteen were certified EMTs-A, two were certified EMT-A Advanced and five were Paramedics. The department housed an emergency squad, medic vehicle, engine, tanker, grass fire fighting vehicle and a heavy rescue vehicle.
In the late 1980’s, Plain Township officials realized that their fire station, built in 1945 was having difficulty keeping up with the increasing needs of the Plain Township community. The Township Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in February of 1994 to place a .85-mil bond issue before the community. Thanks to the support of the community construction began in October of 1996 and was completed in August of 1997 for the current Plain Township Fire Department located at 9500 Johnstown Road. The fire station is designed to house 12 fire fighters per shift per day, administrative offices, records, training facilities, and apparatus.
The Plain Township Fire Department services the City of New Albany and the surrounding township. Services are provided to the MORPC estimated 9,829 village and township residents, in addition to the business and school campuses. The New Albany School system serves about 4,325 students. There are approximately 300 + businesses and an estimated 12,000 employees commuting into the business park daily. The area of the township is about 20 Square miles.
In addition to the increased population growth associated with the residential and commercial construction the department must address the size of residential structures and plan for staffing, tactics and equipment in a proactive approach. In other communities the average new home is 2,000-3,000 square feet. However, in New Albany, a large number of homes are over 5,000 square feet and some as large as 10,000 square feet. The department must also address the increased number of community events offered and the large number of patrons that attend.
Since 2000, the EMS runs have increased 87% and the Fire/Rescue runs have increased 40%.
The City of Columbus provides water and sanitary services to the City of New Albany. The City of New Albany’s 1000 plus fire hydrants are inspected and operated twice a year by Plain Township Firefighters. When temperatures go below freezing they are checked monthly. Most of the unincorporated areas of the Township are non-hydrant districts.
Under the new annexation law a portion of Plain Township has been incorporated in the City of Columbus. That area will receive fire protection from both Columbus and Plain Township. Dispatching services for fire and EMS are dispatched through the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Center for Mifflin Township, Jefferson Township, Plain Township, Violet Township, Truro Township, the City of Whitehall and the State Fire Marshal’s Investigations Bureau.
The daily staffing of the fire department averages 11 fulltime firefighter/paramedics cross- staffing an engine, ladder, medics and a command vehicle. The Plain Township Fire Department continues to utilize the department’s master plan to strategically meet the needs of a growing community.
The people of Plain Township and New Albany have given their support over the years by approving operating levies as they were placed on the ballots. Hundreds of citizens have served as volunteer firefighters since our beginning in 1943. It would not be possible to name them all, but we sincerely thank each and every one of them for their service and the constant community support.