Chief Friedmann was hired full time as Fire Chief on May 1, 1990. In August of 1990, the district placed it’s first AED in service on a pumper at station 2. This was a milestone for the district and the taxpayers in the Robertsville/Catawissa area. At the time of this purchase, the ambulance responding to this area would be coming from Pacific, meaning a significant delay in the arrival of defibrillation equipment to a patient in cardiac arrest. By placing this AED in service, the fire district ensured the rapid arrival of this equipment to the citizens in need. In October of 1990 the decision was made to add living quarters to station 2. The district acted as it’s own general contractor and some of the work was performed by district staff allowing the project to be completed at minimal cost.
1991 began with a motion passing for the purchase of a new Pierce pumper for $185,571.00. This pumper replaced the 1980 FMC/Chevrolet quick attack. The Pierce pumper was paid for in cash upon delivery and was placed into service on March 12, 1992. This unit continues to serve the citizens of the district as of May 2008. Also in 1991, two full time firefighters were hired, doubling the full time staff.
In August of 1992, Deputy Chief Prichard was hired full time as Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal. In January of 1993, three additional firefighters were hired, bringing the paid staffing to five. On May 13, 1993, Tom Robinson was sworn in as a board member, taking the seat of Rich Graf who retired after 6 years of service as a board member. In December of 1993, the district was informed that the ISO class for properties within 5 road miles of any of the district’s stations would be decreased from a class 9 to a class 6.
In January of 1994, a motion passed to put a $0.05 pension tax on the ballot in April. This tax money would be earmarked for retirement, health insurance and short and long disability for the district’s paid staff. The main purpose for asking for this increase was to offer the full time firefighters a competitive benefit package in order minimize the turnover in staff. The voters approved this levy and in August, the tax rate was set at $0.59/$100.00 assessed valuation. In September, the district was informed that the ISO class for the entire district would be reduced to a class 5.
Beginning January 1, 1995, the district began to staff station 1 and station 2 on a 24 hour/day, 7 day/week basis. On March 9, 1995, a motion was passed to purchase a Pierce pumper/tanker with a 3000 gallon water tank for $257,166.00. This unit would replace the 1977 FMC/Ford tanker and would carry twice the water as the old tanker. This unit remains in service to the citizens as of May 2008.
On August 8, 1996, a resolution was approved by the board of directors to put a $2,000,000 bond issue on the ballot in November. This bond sale would finance the construction of a new station 1/administration office and an addition of two apparatus bays and a training room at station 2. The voters approved this bond issue.
In April of 1997, Steve Rainey was sworn in as a board member, taking the seat of Tom Robinson who retired after 4 years of service on the board. In May, a bid for $368,272.00 was awarded for the addition to station 2. This project was completed in the spring of 1998. In November, a resolution passed entering into an agreement with the Meramec Valley R-3 School District. The two districts agreed to swap the property on Osage St. where the school parked maintenance equipment for the property where station 1 and the administrative office were located.
In January of 1998, 2 additional full time firefighters were hired. On February 12, 1998, a bid for $1,192,000.00 was awarded for the construction of the new station 1. This building would be occupied in November of the same year with an open house and dedication on March 21, 1999. Also in March of 1999, the district entered into the newly formed Franklin County Trench Rescue Team. The district houses the team’s truck and equipment and handles the financial transactions for the team.
A motion was passed on August 12, 1999 to purchase a Pierce pumper/tanker for $313,848.00. This unit replaced the 1976 FMC/Ford pumper and remains in service as the pumper at station 1 as of May 2008. In December of 1999, a motion passed to hire 2 additional full time firefighters bringing the total paid staff to 12 and allowing for 2 firefighters to be on duty 24 hours/day, 7 days/week at stations 1 and 2.