History of Luce Fire Territory
Honoring the Fallen Through Training.
The Luce Fire Territory began in 1963 by the members of the Richland Lions Club as the Luce Township Volunteer Fire Department. Articles of Incorporation were submitted to the state in 1964. The original station was built on ground leased from Roscoe and Mabel Ogburn and the original block building was built with help from the Luce Township High School FFA/Shop class. The members found and purchased a 1942 GMC military fire truck that was used in World War 2. That truck was housed in the local welding shop until the actual fire station was completed. In 1966 a brand new fire engine was ordered for delivery in 1967. The department still mostly consisted of Lions club members.
In 1972 the Hatfield Optimist club followed suit and built another block building on land donated by James Greene in Hatfield. A new 1973 fire engine was ordered for that station and not long after another military surplus truck was obtained as a tanker.
Keeping in mind that both Richland and Hatfield are in Luce Township, the township trustee financed the operation of both stations as they were both operated as one fire department. The department relied on a telephone system to notify members of emergencies. In 1978 a radio paging system was introduced but the phones were still manned by a department family. In 1981 the Spencer County Sheriff’s Department became the dispatching point for emergencies.
In 1984 the department began its EMS program assisting the Spencer County Ambulance service with not only medical first responders but hydraulic vehicular extrication to rescue patients from motor vehicle crashes and other entanglements. A rescue truck was added to the Richland stations fleet.
In 1996 the new Hatfield station was opened. Just across the highway from the old station the new station at 8601 W old SR 66 has 3 bays and with facilities for the firefighters along with 3 acres for parking and a radio tower. This new station allowed the department to add an additional rescue truck for EMS.
In 2002 the new Richland station was built. This station has the Luce Township trustee’s office attached. This new facility allows for the public to book the meeting room for small gatherings and provides an increased area for fire/EMS training. It is a building that was repurposed from an auto repair shop to save money on the construction. We could operate from one central station. But the insurance services organization gives homeowners insurance premium discounts in relation to where a fire station is located. We feel that with better response times and the insurance discounts our residents are better served.
In 2012 what was the Luce Township Fire Department became the Luce Fire Territory. This was done due to the incorporation of the town of Richland and due to the state considering eliminating township government. With the town having its own taxing structure and having their own responsibility to provide fire protection to the town, it was best to join forces between the Luce Township and the town of Richland that operates seamlessly with the same tax rate.
Currently at the Hatfield Station is a 2009 Ferrara Engine with 1,000 gallons of water, 2014 International tanker with 2,000 gallons of water and a 2002 Ford Rescue truck that also serves as a small brush fire truck.
At the Richland Station we have a 2006 Ferrara Engine with 1000 gallon of water, a 2001 Ford McClellan 4X4 tanker, a 1996 Ford Rescue truck with hydraulic extrication tools and our newest addition a 2020 Neoteric Hovercraft for water and snow rescues.
The department had been performing water rescues with a jon boat for several of years but the varying depth of back water often causes a convention boat to run aground. The hovercraft rides 8 inches above the ground on a cushion of air that allows rescuers to transverse all types of water and snow.
Luce Fire Territory averages 250 runs annually. 60% are medical 15% rescues and the other 25% fire related.
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