In the beginning…Hebron was founded in 1827 and became a village in 1835. Union Township was founded in the early 1800’s…
At some time in the early 1850s, it was decided that the Village needed a way to sound an alarm in the event of a fire. A bell was purchased from the Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was installed in the cupola on top of the Village Hall. The bell was “rung” to alert the men of the community of a fire.
In 1926, a group of men came together to formally organize the Hebron Fire Department. This was done in part due to the several large fires that had consumed many downtown businesses. The department has been housed in two locations, notwithstanding the current location at 111 Basin St.
Between 1926 and 1981 the department remained an all-volunteer organization. Hebron hired its first full-time firefighter in 1981. In 1982, a second person was added to include a paramedic. A full-time fire chief and one paramedic were added in 1992. The full-time staff was supported by part-time and volunteer personnel. A full-time fire inspector position was created in 2004 to help with building inspections and fire investigations. Prior to 2020, ideal staffing was five persons daily, 24/7/365, two of which were paramedics responding out of the fire station on Basin St. As is the case in many communities, currently there are no volunteers on the active roster with the Hebron Fire Department.
As far back as the mid-1970’s, several former fire chiefs and elected officials from the village and township met on numerous occasions to identify how the delivery of service to the area could be improved. Hebron Fire Department operated for years on tax levy revenue and written contracts for service from Union Township fire and EMS taxes. Union Township had very little input to the overall operation of the fire department. Throughout the years, the township would purchase a piece of apparatus or new state-of-the-art equipment for use by the firefighters, but they rarely had a voice in the management of the fire department. Multiple consultants have been hired to provide direction on what they felt were the most efficient methods of providing fire and EMS services to the community. Each consultant suggested adding a fire station more centrally located in the township and a fire district be considered to help streamline the operations.
The Hebron Village council and a majority of Union Township Trustees agreed to form a fire district based on the Ohio Revised Code, Section §505.371. Per the ORC, the name given to the fire district could not be the name of either party entering into the agreement to form the fire district. Therefore, Refugee-Canyon Joint Fire District was selected as the new name for the department. The two roads, Refugee and Canyon, intersect in the village and extend well into the westernmost and northernmost areas of Union Township. The name was selected as a means of recognizing both entities joining together and serving both communities; just like the roads!
We recognize and honor the men and women who have served the community through countless hours of time, talent, and financial support over the 93 years the Hebron Fire Department was in existence. We promise to continue the highest level of professional services; albeit under a new name which represents BOTH Union Township and Hebron having a strong voice in how those services are offered.
The new logo for the fire district prominently displays a bell; reminiscent of the early days of the fire service in Hebron. We felt it was a sign of respect to include it in our new logo paying homage to those who served the community in the past and for those who will serve in the future.
Clifford L. Mason
Refugee-Canyon Joint Fire District