History

The Blair Fire Department was formed in March of 1870, the original 13 members met with the City Council and requested that the city provide 13 fire buckets for use in case of a fire in Blair.  The first building to house equipment was built in 1873.  The January of 1886, Hose Cart No. 1 was formed to upgrade the fire department with a reel of hose on a cart that was pulled to the fire by members of the fire department.  A second hose company was established and the members would race to a fire.

 

A cistern system was established to provide a source of water to fight fires.  Hose carts were used until the first fire trucks were purchased in 1927.  A 1927 GMC Pumper and a 1926 GMC Hose Truck were purchased.  These two fire trucks are still owned by the Blair Fire Department and have been restored for parades. In 1964 the Fire Department was asked to form a Rescue Squad to provide emergency response for accidents and medical emergencies. 

 

Today the Blair Fire & Rescue Department consists of 55 members operating out of two fire stations to provide protection for the City of Blair and the surrounding rural  area.  The department responds to over 700 fire & rescue calls a year.  The Department holds its business meeting on the first Thursday of each month.  The second Thursday is for rescue drill and the other Thursdays are for fire drills.  During the past year, the Fire Department responded to 784 calls.

 

It takes a lot of dedication and work to be a part of the fire department and rescue squad.  We conduct fire drills for the senior citizens’ homes, schools and any business that desires one.  We present fire prevention classes for all of the Blair Schools as well as day care facilities in Blair.

Each June we hold an annual Street Dance to provide an opportunity for any of the Blair Citizens to come and meet with and celebrate the Gateway to West Parade with the members of the fire & rescue department.  Santa visits the fire hall every year to take input from all who visit s to what presents are required during the Christmas season. The department provides free in home smoke detectors to anyone in need and will install them as well. 

 

The department has a long, proud history of service to the citizens of Blair, Nebraska.  Morning, noon and night; spring, summer, fall and winter; rain or shine, snow, sleet and ice; holidays, school programs, birthdays, funerals, church services, and weddings – all can and are interrupted by the sound of the pager notifying the members of the department of an emergency that requires they leave their families, their celebrations, jobs and warm beds to go help their fellow man with a problem.

Just the Facts

FACT:

Benjamin Franklin founded this country's first volunteer fire department in 1736 in Philadelphia, Pennsilvania.  He also  became its first volunteer fire chief.

 

FACT:

Volunteer Fire Fighters comprise 69% of all the fire fighters across the United States.  Of the newarly 31,000 fire departments in the United States, over 21,000 are comprised of all colunteers saving the localities an estimated $37 billion per year.  Over the past 25 years, volunteer membership has dropped nearly 8% while the volume of calls continues to increase.

 

FACT:

According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, the cost to train, and equip a new firefighter costs approximately $27,000, much of which has to be raised through local fundraising activities.

 

Charter Members
Past Member List: 1889 - 1935
Past Member List: 1936 - 1960
Past Member List: 1961 - 2000
Past Member List: 2001 - 2015
BVFD Scan 28
BVFD Scan 28

BVFD Scan 44
BVFD Scan 44

Old Timers scan 60 1
Old Timers scan 60 1

BVFD Scan 28
BVFD Scan 28

1/69

History of the Maltese Cross

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The badge of a fireman is the Maltese Cross.  This Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor.  Its story is hundreds of years old.
 
When a courageous band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for posssession of the holy land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to Wuropean warriors.  It was a simple, but a horrible devise of war; it wroght excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross.  The Saracen's weaopon was fire.
 
As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were stuck by glass bombs containgin naphtha.  When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens hurled a flaming torch into their midst.  Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths.
 
Thus, these men became our first firemen and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters.  Their heroic efforst were recongnized by fellow crusaders who awarded each here a badgoe of honor - a cross similar to the one firemen wear today.  Since the Knights of St. John lived fore clsoe to fourcenturies on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Maita, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross. 
 
The Maltese Cross is our symbol of protection.  it means that the fireman who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you just as the crusaders sacrifieced their lives for their fellow amn so many years ago.  The Maltese Cross is a fireman's badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage - a ladder runy away from death.
Current Calls
As of 2/28/21
2016 YTD Total: 867
2015 Total: 836
2014 Total: 784
2013 Total: 752
Fire Calls: 104
Fire Alarms: 37
Firefighter Hours: 578
Fire Training Hours: 376
Rescue Calls: 262
EMS Hours: 605
Rescue Training Hours: 258
2019 YTD Total: 898
2018 YTD Total: 879
2020 YTD Total: 882