- The Shelbyville Fire & Rescue will provide fire protection and suppression to the City of Shelbyville to the level of training received by its members and with the equipment available
- We will provide assistance and rescue programs comparable to the training and ability of the members and to the extent that the equipment allows
- We will assist the community in a manner required to the extent practical and feasible within the department’s standard operating procedures
- We will assist neighboring fire departments with aid to the extent that the community protected by this department is not in danger
- We will obtain the latest in firefighting training techniques to the best of our ability and within our budgetary and practical allowances
- We will be financially responsible with the communities funds provided and the equipment owned by this department
- We will maintain a fire and rescue service that the community can be proud of and we will strive to bring no dishonor upon the community served by it
Duty. Honor. Community.
The beginning of the Shelbyville Fire Department
In the early part of 1818, the subject of a fire engine was brought up by some of the progressive citizens of Shelbyville. A committee was appointed to correspond with parties in Cincinnati and Philadelphia to ascertain the cost. This was done, and when it was made known that $800.00 would purchase an engine, a petition was drawn up requesting the trustees to levy a tax for the purchase. More than 2/3 of the property owners in town signed the petition and the trustees granted the petition.
On March 30, 1819 a man by the name of Francis Jackson was authorized to go to Cincinnati and purchase the fire engine that there had been so much talk about. While Mr. Jackson was gone, grounds were set for the first fire department in Shelbyville. The “Relief Fire Company” of Shelbyville was formed. It was composed of all men in town over the age of 16. There was to be one captain, two lieutenants, eight directors, two engineers, sixteen handle men, twenty-four ladder men, ten hook-men, six ax-men, and six guards. Anyone not given a position was called an extra, and was subject to the orders of the captain who could work these men anywhere deemed necessary. The captain would have complete control of everything at fires, and training days. Training would be at least 6 times a year.
Mr. Jackson returned from Cincinnati without purchasing the fire engine. This was a great disappointment to a number of citizens in town. Mr. Jackson was given $22.00 for his expenses. The citizens of Shelbyville insisted that a fire engine be purchased without further delay. Will G. Luckett was sent to Philadelphia, and when he returned, he reported that an engine had been purchased. It was shipped to Pittsburgh, and from there to Louisville by river. Then it was transported to Shelbyville on wagons. Mr. Luckett had contracted to have the engine complete when it left the factory, except the wheels, which were made and put on after its arrival. The new horse drawn engine was state of the art. It had four handles and was operated by eight men. The engine was driven as close to a fire as possible. Every member of the department was to have a bucket of his own. Water was carried to the engine and poured in bucket at a time then pumped on the fire. An engine house was built to house the new pumper at a total cost of $83.00.
Over 190 years later…
The Shelbyville Fire & Rescue Department responds from 3 stations with 20 full time, 10 part time, and 33 volunteer fire personnel. The department protects the city limits of Shelbyville (approx. 10 sq. miles) and has an ISO class rating of 2
The full service department responds to over 1000 calls per year and has an inspection program that inspects all commercial and large apartment complexes twice a year. The department also does hydrant testing with the water company, maintains a computer based mapping program, and has one of the most active fire prevention programs in the area. The people in this department go above and beyond the normal call of duty on a daily basis to serve the citizens of Shelbyville and are the best around.
Feel free to come by any time and visit your fire department.
Kevin Baker, Fire Chief