Fire Station Building
By 1921, University City had grown and the Robinson fire truck was showing its age. With funds from another bond issue a new Seagrave fire truck was purchased, and in 1924, a separate fire house was built east of City Hall on Delmar. In 1930, University City purchased the 5-story octagonal building at Delmar and Harvard--former headquarters for city founder Edward Gardner Lewis’ publishing company--as the new City Hall. The Fire Department moved to more spacious quarters designated Fire House #1 in the former printing plant north of the new City Hall.
Fire Station #2
Citizens approved a bond issue in 1928 to construct Fire House #2 at Olive and Pennsylvania to serve the north and west areas of the growing city. The Engine House was used until 1979 when it was closed due to structural concerns.
Fire Station #3
In 1939, with the residential areas west of Hanley rapidly expanding, Fire House #3 was completed at North and South and Shaftesbury, with PWA funding and proceeds from another bond issue. In the summer of 2005, the engine house was closed for renovations and expansion. An additional engine bay with storage garage was added while the entire original building was upgraded. On the 2nd floor, the bunk hall received a new design and a training room and an exercise room was added. At the completion of the renovations, the engine house was given the new name of Fire Station #2.
Fire Prevention Legislation
In 1921, at the urging of Fire Chief James Walsh, the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance regulating the use, handling, and storage of hazardous materials. In 1922, another ordinance was passed granting authority for the Fire Department to conduct hazardous material and fire prevention inspections of all multi-family and commercial structures. This authority continues today with special public education programs aimed at reducing loss of life and property, as well as with comprehensive inspections for all multi-family dwellings and commercial, industrial, and public buildings.
City Ambulance and Emergency Services
A new service became part of the University City Fire Department in 1946. On the recommendation of the Mayor, the city ambulance was housed at the Fire Department, and Department staff members were assigned as drivers. While early ambulance service was primarily transport, additional training was provided as the service was expanded. University City was the first municipality in St. Louis County to require firefighters to also be paramedics. This cross-training provides citizens with dual protection. Today, the Department, with two fully equipped ambulances, provides rapid response for medical emergencies. The Department was awarded EMS Service of the Year in 2002.
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