By Emilee Dehmer, research assistant
On December 19, 1888 the Rogers Hose Company No.
1 was chartered. For 34 years, volunteers risked
their lives to help serve and protect their
community. Then in 1922, the unit reorganized
and officially became the Rogers Fire
While the department was still the Rogers Hose
Company, the first power equipment was purchased
in 1915. The RHC purchased a 1915 American
LaFrance Chemical Engine for $5,000. A chemical
engine differs from a pump engine, in the fact
that it holds a set reserve and has no pump to
be connected to an outside water source. The
chemical tanks are filled with water, and
bi-carbonate soda is dissolved into it. Sulfuric
acid is then put into a receptacle at the top,
and a rotation of the tank allows the two to
effectively mix. The reaction of these chemicals
forces the water out of the hose and the fire
can then be extinguished. Chemical Engines
however, were inefficient because when the
supplies were expended it was difficult to
restock during an emergency.
When the RHC purchased the chemical engine, they
bought it with the intention to convert the
truck to a traditional pump truck. They learned,
though, that the cost to convert would be around
the cost of a new truck, so they traded in the
1915 chemical engine for a 1919 pump truck. This
pump truck cost $8,500 and over the years was
given the nickname “Old Hulda.” No one knows
what “Hulda” is however. The pump truck had no
chemicals at all and needed to be connected to
hydrants to receive water. The truck was retired
in 1955 and can be viewed at the Fire Museum
located at the Rogers Fire Department.
Today, the Rogers Fire Department has upgraded
from “Old Hulda” and currently has 18 frontline
emergency vehicles including: five engine
companies, two truck companies, one heavy rescue
unit, four ambulances, one airport fire response
unit, two brush pumpers, and one command unit.
Under the command of Fire Chief Tom Jenkins, the
Rogers Fire Department continues to provide
excellent service to the community, keeping the
citizens safe from harm.
From the creation of the Rogers Hose Company in
1888 to the reorganization as the Rogers Fire
Department in 1922; from a chemical truck to
over 18 trucks; from original fire chief John H.
Rebholtz to Tom Jenkins, the Rogers Fire
Fighters have been dedicated to helping serve
the citizens of the community for many years,
and for many years to come.