History

Our Past

The Versailles Town Board purchased a chemical fire engine wagon from the Fire Extinguisher Company of Chicago, IL on February 1, 1897. This wagon had a 55 gallon tank, a barrel of Bicarbonate of Soda, and 180 pounds of sulfuric acid. This old chemical wagon was credited with snuffing out several fires in the town. On December 3, 1923 the department purchased a new one ton Ford fire engine in Logansport, IN for the price of $2300.

The citizens of Versailles, seeing the need to improve the fire protection, met at the courthouse and officially organized a volunteer fire department. Billy Smith presented the town with an electric “Fire Alarm” on September 28, 1932. This electric fire alarm was connected in the cupola to the second largest bell chime. This bell could be heard a mile away. This bell was signaled by telephone or from a button at the fire house.

The town of Versailles purchased a 1940 Howe fire engine. This new Dodge truck could pump 500 gallons per minute. The addition of this new truck made a reduction in the town insurance rates possible.

In 1968 two new Dodge Howe engines were purchased. These new engines were capable of pumping 500 gallons per minute each. In 1978 the department added a Dodge Brush Truck.

In the year 1981 the department was in need of a new facility and a new 3 bay station was constructed. The department, with the assistance from the Tyson Fund, purchased a new 1982 E-One engine. In 1986 the department added a new tanker again with the help of the Tyson Fund. In 1995 the department added their first Rescue truck with the addition of extrication equipment. The department continued to grow adding a new 1997 E-One engine with a 1250 gpm pump and a 1000 gallon tank. This engine was purchased again with the help of the Tyson Fund.

During the year 2000 the department purchased a new Dodge brush truck. The department also purchased and erected a new 4-story training facility. This training tower would prove to be the focal point for training for many departments in the area during the next several years.

The Versailles community continued to grow and with that continued growth in mind the Versailles Fire department added a BLS non-transport vehicle and began providing EMS First Response. In 2003 the department added technical rope rescue to the services provided. A new E-One tanker was added to the department during 2004.

The year of 2007 continued to be a year of change for the Versailles Fire Department. During this year significant improvements were made to the department’s training facility. The facility was named the fixed training site for Indiana’s District 9 Training through the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. During the month of January 2010 the department moved into their long-awaited new station on the south end of Versailles.

The Versailles Fire Department continued to make improvements to the department. The Versailles Tyson Fund provided the funding to refurbish the department’s brush truck to purchase an E-One Engine to replace the old 1983 Grumman Engine that has been retired.

The department’s training facility continues to be the center of training activities in the area. Improvements to the facility include: new ventilation prop, forcible entry door and window props, LP Gas live fire prop, and a Fire Max Box to assist in teaching fire behavior.

In 2019 the department, thanks to the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and Versailles Tyson Fund, upgraded the extrication equipment by purchasing new technology Genesis battery extrication equipment.

Versailles Fire Rescue