History of the Lesslie Fire Department, Inc

A group of concerned individuals met at the home of Mr. Vernon Grant on April 6, 1955, for the purpose of organizing a volunteer fire department in the Lesslie Community. A subsequent meeting was held on May 21, 1955 and the Lesslie Community Fire Department, Inc. was formed and obtained a state charter for an eleemosynary corporation. The meeting was prompted after York County House of Representative J. Bate Harvey introduced a bill before the House of Representatives in Columbia to provide York County citizens with some type of rural fire protection. Approval was given and the York county Rural Fire Commission was established. This Commission acted promptly and was eager to furnish the truck and maintain it, but the housing facility of the unit was to be provided by the community or town.

It was through the efforts of the community that a building was constructed at the previous site across the street from what is now Lesslie station 1. This building was a one-bay fire station large enough for one truck and for a period of time had a dirt floor. As time progressed and funds were available, improvements were made. In 1959, the Lesslie firemen decided they needed more water and this could be remedied by having a tanker truck. Naturally, the first item would be to enlarge the present station and this was done in 1959 and 1960 through donations and other fund-raising projects.

A 1953 Ford chassis was then purchased and work began on the building of the first tanker fire truck. Many hours of work were put into this unit and it was the first of its kind to be added to the York County fleet of fire trucks.

In 1963, the department received a 1963 Chevrolet ¾ ton 4-wheel drive pick-up truck to be used as a grass fire unit. This was the first unit of its kind that the County had purchased. This truck proved to be very satisfactory in battling grass and woods fires.

It is evident that this department is not one to stand still. In 1963-1964, a meeting room was added and this brought the building up to its appearance in 1975.

The Lesslie Fire Department has always stressed service to the community and in order to serve the citizens better, an alerting system was purchased in 1967. This system enabled firemen to receive information through a receiver in their home concerning the nature of the alert and location. This resulted in quicker response times and more adequate coverage. Again, the Lesslie Fire Department led the way, this was the first department to install and alerting system in York County.

On January 19, 1967, we received our first replacement unit. This 1967 Ford pumper replaced the original 1955 Ford unit. Since units do need to be replaced, in early 1971, the department began plans on replacing the 1953 Ford tanker. A1965 Ford chassis was purchased and many modifications and improvements were made over the previous tanker. This unit had an investment of $10,800 not including labor. Our department was very proud of that unit which once completed was valued at approx. $30,000.

Through the years the department has obtained more property in the form of land. After approximately two years of work, we acquired through a donation in 1974, a parcel of land containing 1.3 acres form the Southern Railway. It is located across the street from the original location and where we are currently located. The current facilities construction was completed in 1976.

To keep up with rapid growth and provide a better service to our area, we asked our citizens to approve a special tax district in our area to provide 2 new sub-stations and equipment. This was approved in 1994 and today we serve the area with 3 stations. Our current inventory includes: 5 fire engines, 1 ladder truck, 2 tankers, 2 service trucks, and 2 brush trucks. As of 2013, we have an ISO rating of 5/9 in our district even though we do not have hydrants throughout the area we cover.

We currently have 53 members that serve without pay.

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