Around 1890, two volunteer fire departments were formed in the City of St. Marys. The west side of St. Marys was protected by the Atlantic Company and the east side was protected by the Niagra Fire Company. Four-wheeled wagons were equipped with hose, ladders, and a pump and were pulled to fire scenes by firefighters, who then had to pump by hand.
In November of 1891, the Niagra Fire Company burned down due to a malfunctioning gas stove. The fire was fought by the Atlantic Company Fire Department.
The City of St. Marys Fire Department became a full-time department in the late 1890’s to early 1900’s, and employees worked a 72 hour work week; one day on and one day off. In the early 1960’s, the 72 hour work week changed to a 56 hour week, with employees working one day on and two days off, and the work day lasted 24 hours. The Chief’s schedule consisted of a 40 hour work week with weekends off. Staff consisted of the Chief, an Assistant Chief, two Captains, six Firefighters, and one swingman (Firefighter). In 2013, the department consists of the Fire Chief/Paramedic, three Captain/Paramedics, nine Firefighter/Paramedics, and one Auxiliary Firefighter.
The Fire Department moved into a new building in 1967, at which time the City’s ambulance service started. Long and Folk Funeral Home, who previously provided the service, donated two Cadillac ambulances to the department.
An educational incentive program began in 1977 and provided a monthly stipend to employees who voluntarily obtained paramedic certification. Today, every full-time employee is a paramedic, as required, and every new employee must obtain State of Ohio Paramedic certification within twelve months following completion of school.