Fire Department History

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Our department was organized in 1913. At that time there were 14 volunteer fireman and a Model T fire truck that served a population of approximately 350 people.

Steve Whitehurst was the first Fire Chief and Marshal for the City of Dunedin and the Fire Station was on Broadway across from Stirling Hall's present location. In 1922, T.R. Nettles, the second Fire Chief, resigned due to poor health. R.L. Chalk was appointed as Fire and Police Chief until Henry Houghton was appointed as Fire Chief in that same year.

During this time, the volunteers were paid $1.00 per fire and 25 cents for attending training four times a month. In 1925, the City's only Fire Station was relocated to the corner of Main St. and Highland Ave., behind the City Hall building.

From 1945 to 1947, G.D. Brooks, Alfred Gael and I.J. Fenny served as Fire Chiefs for the City of Dunedin.

In 1947, Robert Hunt was appointed Fire Chief, having joined the Fire Department in 1937. The largest expansion of the Fire Department since its founding would occur over the next twenty years. A second fire engine was bought, a 1947 International - John Bean pumper and two additional full-time firefighters were hired, Asst. Chief H.M Quillin and F/F W.F. Coxwell. In 1959 a third fire engine was bought, a Ford-Seagrave and in 1960 the fire station was replaced at the same location for $15,000.

In 1967, Robert Hunt became the Fire Marshal for the City of Dunedin and James Prosser became the Fire Chief. In 1969 and fourth fire engine, a Ford - American Barton pumper was purchased for $27,000. Also, there were 25 volunteer firefighters in the department.

In 1972, Thomas Kitchen, a Lieutenant with St. Petersburg Fire Dept., was appointed as interim Fire Chief. Dunedin bought its fifth fire engine, a 1972 Mack fire engine for $42,000. There were 12 full-time firefighters and 30 volunteer firefighters at this same time.

Neil Harrison became Dunedin's 11th Fire Chief in 1973. A second Fire Station was added on the City's north side on Michigan Blvd. in 1974 and the downtown Fire Station was relocated to its current location on Virginia St. in 1978. Also during this time the department added a ladder truck to our fleet, a 1976 LTI, 85 foot aerial and EMS were incorporated into our department. By 1977, the volunteers were disbanded completely and all staffing of the Fire Department was done with full time personnel, numbering 45 in 1978.

The City of Dunedin changed how the Fire Department would be administered in 1978, both the Police Chief and Fire Chief would become one person and would have the title of Public Safety Director. The first Public Safety Director was Edward M. Smith. The City of Dunedin also contracted out the EMS service that year. In 1983, Robert L. Haworth was appointed as Public Safety Director. Two Mack-Gator pumpers were bought in 1986 and 1987.

In 1988, the City decided to go back to separate Fire and Police Chief. Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Kroeger was the interim Fire Chief until 1989 when Clarence "Bud" Meyer was appointed Fire Chief.

During Chief Meyer's tenure:

  • EMS Services, once again, were provided by the fire department on all ALS Engines (1996)
  • A new engine for Station 61 was purchased in 2002
  • A new engine for Station 62 was purchased in 2005
  • A new ladder truck for Station 60 was purchased in 2007
  • A new engine for Station 60 was purchased in 2010

In addition to the above, an administration office for the fire department was built on Virginia Street, next to Fire Station 60, and an additional fire station was built on Belcher Rd in 1996.

Chief Meyer retired on January 9, 2013 at which time Jeffrey Parks, who has been with the department since 2007, was promoted from Deputy Fire Chief to the department's current Fire Chief on January 10, 2013.