Media Archive

Milo Fire Department celebrates 100-year anniversary

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Wednesday, August 16, 2006

By Stuart Hedstrom
Staff Writer

MILO 2006 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Milo Fire Department, which was founded in 1906 when a vote at the annual town meeting enabled the town to purchase a $2000 fire engine.

Milo was incorporated in 1823, and in the first eighty years fires where battled by method of bucket brigade. Town residents would buckets of water along a line of people from water source to blaze. In 1871, a proposal to purchase hooks, ladders and buckets was presented at town meeting but residents voted it down.

Three decades later in 1901, the town voted to spend $50 for the fire department "to be expanded by fire warden." This was the first mention of the term fire department in town records.

On March 12, 1906, the Milo Fire Department (then known as the Milo Fire Company) became official, when citizens voted to spend $2000 to purchase a steam fire engine at the town meeting along with $17.25 for a ton of English canal coal to generate steam to power the engine. This fire engine pumped water from a nearby river or pond through hoses to extinguish the flames. When not in use, the engine was housed in the bottom floor of town building at the corner of Main and Water Streets. Albert F. Spearing served as the fire chief, and John E. Doble was Chief Engineer.

A salary of $2 per call, along with 50 cents for each additional hour, was established for the driver of the fire engine in 1909. This rate was increased to $2 per call and $1 for each additional hour for all members of the department in 1920.

Firefighters had the use of addition equipment in 1911 when the town purchased a $375 hand ladder truck and a $1,000 Ford truck in 1919. The Ford truck was the first propelled vehicle for the department. The department still made use of a hand tub, nicknamed Tiger, that is still used today by the department in firefighting competitions.

Today the Milo Department is housed below the town hall on Park St. The department utilizes modern equipment, including a ladder truck to reach up multistory buildings, and a junior division to help train the next generation of firefighters.

In the 2005 town report, Milo Fire Chief David Preble wrote that the department will continue to upgrade and serve to the best of its ability and thanked the community for their continued support.

In 2004, the Milo Fire Department responded to a total of 123 calls. These calls include 10 structure fires, 11 tree fires or downed electrical lines, seven chimney fires and four grass or leave fires. The other calls included assisting emergency medical service personnel in vehicle accidents and rescue operations.

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