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  • Old Betsy in Action1872: New town of Merced is established.

  • Apr 14, 1873: A group of Merced business and property owners began meeting for the purpose of creating a volunteer fire department after learning of a large fire in the nearby town of Snelling.

  • Nov 3, 1873: Merced Engine Company No. 1 was formed.

  • Mar 30, 1874: The President of the Merced Fire Department met at the Court House to hear the report of the Committee appointed to purchase an Engine and for the election of Officers for the ensuing year. (From the Minutes of the Merced Fire Department of the Town and County of Merced, State of California. Hall of Merced Fire Department)

  • old betsy fire engineApr 3, 1874: A Jeffers Fire Engine (Pawtucket, Rhode Island) was purchased for $1,800 from the Stockton Fire Department and used for over 30 years. It was a new end-stroke hand engine that the Stockton Fire Department purchased in 1860 for $4,000. The body was made of rosewood, stained and highly polished, with gold scroll engravings on each side. Many of the mountings were heavily plated with silver, and inlaid with pearl. The engine had two hose carts and 1500 feet of 2 1/2" fire hose and had to be pumped by hand. J.A. Norvall, publisher of the Merced Express, later named the fire engine "Old Betsy", which is now on permanent display at the Merced County Courthouse Museum.

  • Apr 18, 1874, 8:00 pm Meeting : Merced Engine Company No. 1 was renamed Eureka Engine Company No. 1 Merced Fire Department with 27 charter members, who paid a $5 membership fee for the privilege of being one of its members.

  • May 27, 1874, 8:00 pm Meeting: Committee reported offer of Mesr - Sprague & Packer to build Engine House for the sum of $737 according to plans and specifications on file.

  • Jun 10, 1874 Meeting: On motion, building of an Engine House was suspended and they were to find a suitable building to rent.

  • Sep 11, 1875: Engine house moved to county lot on 17th Street between M and N Street.

  • Old betsy with people around itNov 21, 1877: At a special meeting, "The Foreman stated the the object of the meeting, whereupon the following preamble and resolution were unanimously adopted; To wit: the regular meeting of the company “Whereas Eureka Engine Company No. One of Merced, California, did, at a regular meeting of the Company, held at Garibaldi Hall on Aug. 10th 1887, by motion duly made and carried, at least 2/3 of the members of said Company being present and voting therefore, enter into an agreement with the Fire Commissioners of the Town of Merced by which said Company through its Directors of its Corporation agreed to convey its real estate and appurtenances to said Board of Fire Commissioners and to their successors in office for the benefit of the Citizens of said town, upon the fulfillment of the terms of said agreement on the part of said Commissioners, and Whereas, said Commissioners have fulfilled their part of the covenants of said agreement, now Therefore, Be it Resolved That the Board of Directors of Eureka Engine Company No. One be, and it is hereby directed to covey, by deed of grant bargain and sale, in the name of this corporation and under its corporate seal, duly executed and acknowledged, All of the real estate and its appurtenances, now standing of record in the name of this Corporation to wit: its corporate seal, duly executed and acknowledged, All of the real estate and its appurtenances, now standing of record in the name of this Corporation, to wit: The North half of Lot Three in Block 163 of the Town of Merced as per the recorded Official map of said town, to the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Town of Merced and to their successors in office, in fulfillment of the convenants of sad Agreement on the part of this Corporation."

  • Jan 14, 1878: A. Johnson awarded contract to build addition (meeting hall) to Engine house.

  • Jul 16, 1879: Hook and ladder truck was purchased.

  • Jun 1883: A Silsby steam engine, named "Old Steamer" was acquired.

  • Sep 2, 1885: At the Hall Eureka engine Co. No. 1 Meeting, the plans submitted by W. Wagner for Engine House were adopted and the secretary opened the bids for the same:
    • J. Y. Jones: $1,785.00
    • Meaney & Peck: $1,698.75
    • J. Miner: $1,800.00
    • E. Reuter: $1,897.00
    On motion the contract was awarded to Meany & Peck.
  • 1885 : The first firehouse was built on 18th Street between Canal and M Streets for $1698.75.

1888 in front of fire house on 18th between Canal and MFirst Firehouse on 18th Street and Silsby Steam Engine 1885 Torn down in 1953Fire bell

  • Jan 4, 1886: Special meeting held. Appears to be in the best interest of the organization to incorporate under the name of Eureka Engine Co. No. 1.

  • Feb 4, 1886: Meeting was held and directors of the Corporation were elected and that the corporate name would be Eureka Engine Co. No. 1 of Merced.

  • Jul 9, 1886: Meeting was called and according to Article 1 of the Constitution, the company shall be known and designated as Eureka Engine Company Number One of the Town of Merced.

  • Jan 19, 1889: Alarm of Fire was sounded caused by a fire in the El Capitan Hotel. The company appeared promptly, but the fire was put out by others by the time the company got there. All members were present at roll call.

  • Mar 30, 1889 : Merced incorporated and began using the 2nd floor of the firehouse as City Hall quarters. The two-story brick structure, occupaying a ground space of 40 x 30 feet, was built by public-spiritied citizens of Merced, and turned over to the city as a gift. A fire bell cast by WT Garratt in San Francisco was donated by Charles H. Huffman.

  • Jul 3, 1889: At the company's regular monthly meeting, the City Trustee, Mr. D. Ward requested this company to turn over the property of this company to the Trustees of the City of Merced. A motioned was seconded that the Directors of this company be instructed to give a Bill of Sale for the property hereafter stated, for the sum of (One Dollar) for the Trustees of the City of Merced under the following condition. 1st. That the property stated hereafter never be disposed of by the Trustees of Merced City. 2nd. That the said property shall be returned to this company at such time when the City of Merced has no further use for the same. 3rd. That the trustees of the City of Merced promise on their Word of Honor to pass such Law as to pay to a member of this Fire company a weekly benefit in case a member be hurt at a fire or going to or coming from one if he be disabled or as to prevent him from pursuing his ___ cover of labor. The following is a list of property now belonging to the Eureka Engine Company: 1 Hand Engine; 1 Hose Cart; 500 ft. of Rubber Hose; 4 Nozzles; 1 Hook & Ladder Truck; 2 Fire Hooks; 5 Fire Ladders; 7 Rubber Fire Buckets; and 1 Old Bell. 12 members voted to carry the motion and 4 were against the motion. The motion was carried. It was also moved that the company have their picture taken.

  • Aug 7, 1889: A meeting was called and the Secretary was instructed to notify the Directors of the company to confer with City Trustee in regards to the sale of the property belong to Eureka Engine company according to instructgion.

  • El Capitan Hose Co No 1 MembersFebruary 7, 1891: The El Capitan Hose Company No. 1 replaced the Eureka Engine Company No. 1 after a disagreement with the City Trustees. The El Capitan Hose Company No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department was incorporated into the department, after the Fire Department was established in 1949. The city was protected by a Silsby steamer, one hand engine, two hose reels, over 1,000 feet of hose and two hook and ladder outfits. The El Capitan Hose Company consisted of: George Conway, foreman; R. Barcroft, first assistant; Fred Logamarsino, second assistant; Alfred Kocher, secretary; E. A. Hicks, F. J. Logamarsino, J. B. aribaldi, E. B. Jolly, John Canavaro, Henry Lessman, D. K. Stoddard, J. L. Droulard.

  • Apr 7, 1896: El Capitan Hose Co. No. 1 responded to the fire bell due to a fire at George Kibby's barn at the corner of J Street and an alley. Twenty five members responded from dinner tables, barber shops, clerking stations at the dry goods store and fields to the fire house on 18th street. Some were in their best suits, other in working clothes, and some were wearing whatever they tossed on. Dan and Prince, the two gray horses, dashed to the fire station too. Dan and Prince's owner was paid $2.50 every time a fire occurred during the day and $5 if a fire occurred at night. The first men to arrive, hitched the horses to Old Betsy and dashed off while the others seized the hose cart and followed along un-paved streets. Volunteers dropped the hose into one of the wells, which were situated at various intersections. Although the firefighters did not expect to save the barn, they wanted to keep it from spreading. As expected, the barn was a total loss, amounted to $350, of which $200 was covered through insurance. J.R. "Cap" Graham's assistant responded and brought a keg of beer to soothe the volunteer's smoke parched tonsils. The practice of "Cap" providing beer as the liquid refreshment became a standard custom for many years.

  • 1906: An Ahrens Continental Steam Engine was purchased and "Old Betsy" was retired after 30 years.

Ahrens Continental Fire Engine pulled by horses

  • 1907 : The Fire Department moved to a new City Hall and Firehouse, which was built out of limestone, on the southeast corner of 18th and M Streets. The old firehouse was used as a Lady's Restroom and was torn down in 1953.
  • Second fire house (colour)Lime Building (black and white)

    • 1907: First fire horse was purchased by Frank and Tom Harell, ice company operators. A few years later, Grant was retired and replaced by a pair of gray horses name Prince and Dan, who were donated by James Chamberlain to pull the hose wagon.

    • 1908: A second steamer, an Ahrens Continental, was purchased. The two steamers and the Hand-Pumper, Old Betsy continued to give Merced for protection until 1918.

    • July 1918: First motorized fire engine, a 48 horsepower, 35-gallon combination chemical and hose truck, a 1918 Garford was purchased for $1,968 ?? or $4,850 and was housed on 18th Street, between L and M Streets, on a site just west of the McNamara Hardware building, which was once the site of the city jail. The engine was purchased from the Gardford Motor Truck Company.

    • Sep 1919: A 1919 American LaFrance 750 gallong per minute, combination pumping engine and one 14-4 service truck were purchased for $11,500 from American-La France in Elmira, New York.

    • 1928: A six cylinder 1928 American LaFrance, quadruple combination, 750 G.P.M. pumper equipped with 600 feet of 2 1/2" hose and 255 feet of ground ladders was purchased.

    • 1930: A fire destroyed the Fountain City Flour Mills by the Southern Pacific Railroad.

    • Jan 11, 1933: The El Capitan Hose Company was unable to respond to the fire at the Huffman Mansion known as the Van Horn residence, because it was located outside of the city limits. Consequently, the El Capitan Hose Company purchased additional insurance for fire fighting outside of the city limits.

    • 1934: A new fire alarm system was installed in October.

    • 1948: Merced Fire Department consist of two parts: Part 1: regular uniformed full-paid, full-time membership of 13 members: 1 Fire Chief, 2 Captains, 1 Lieutenant, 7 Drivers and 2 Hosemen; Part 2: El Capitan Hose Company Number 1 Volunteer Fire Department consisting of 25 members. The El Capitan Hose Company Number 1 is summoned when initial response of the paid department is inadequate or whenever a fire alarm box is pulled to report a fire which automatically sets off the coded diaphone horn.

    • May 8, 1949: George Coolures was appointed the first full time Fire Chief when the Fire Department with paid staff was established. The department consisted of two parts: a regular uniformed paid staff of 13 members, which included 1 Fire Chief, 2 Captains, 1 Lieutenant, 7 Drivers, and 2 Hosemen; and the El Capitan Hose Company # 1 Volunteer Fire Department. The volunteer fire department was summoned when the initial response of the paid department was inadequate and provided invaluable supportive service to the paid department. Chief Coolures instituted many important internal improvements in the first year from fire fighting procedures and methods and dwelling inspections to street drills and Fire Prevention programs. the Merced Fire Department was nicknamed "Little Stockton" Fire Department, because Chief Coolures was a captain from the Stockton Fire Department and his brother was serving as the Stockton Fire Chief. Chief Coolures mirrored the department after the Stockton Fire Department.

    • September 20, 1949: City Council approves a Join Resolution with the County of Merced adopting a Mutual Aid Agreement for mutual Cooperation of their respective fire departments.

    • November 21, 1949: City Council approves Ordinance No. 396 establishing a Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Fire Department.

    • 1949: The El Capitan Hose Company No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department with 25 members became part of the Merced Fire Department.

    • 1949: A $250,000 bond was passed, which was used to purchase new fire equipment and build three new fire stations. Company #2 was built in 1951 at McNamara Park on 11th and L Streets and became the temporary headquarters for the Fire Department, while its main station was being built. It housed the 1949 American LaFrance's 1000 G.P.M. pumper. Company #3 also built in 1951 at 27th and K Streets, housed the G.M.C. 500 G.P.M. pumper. A new civic center and fire station were erected on the former city hall and firehouse in 1952.

    New Central Fire Station Under Construction 1951

    • 1949: A twelve cylinder 1949 American LaFrance, triple combination, 1000 GPM pumper was purchased and replaced the 1919 American LaFrance.

    75 Foot American La FranceOld 1919 La France 75 retired in 19491949 LaFrance 1000 GPM Triple Combination, this engine replaced old 75

    • 1949: The Fire Department had a reduction in its total fire loss, which was attributed to increased fire prevention inspections and improved methods of fire fighting.

    • June 5, 1950: City Council accepts Deed of Trust from Merced City School District Conveying property at 27th and K Street.

    • July 17, 1950: City Council amends Ordinance No. 357 providing a special parking area (easterly side of L Street from a point twenty-two feet northeasterly from the northerly line of 19th Street, northeasterly for a distance of twenty-two feet) for the Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department. The Superintendent of Streets was instructed to paint the adjacent curb area white and to affix the words "Fire Dept." in red on the durb.

    • Oct 24, 1950 : MFD Relief Association 1960-1968 First meeting for establishing a Relief Fund Association for the orphans and widows of the members of the Merced City Fire Department. Chief Coolures and Driver Gene Borden are the first members to set forth and get all members together to organizae the Association. Present at the meeting were Chief Coolures, Deputy Chief Lews, Captain Aviles, Acting Captain Sponhaltz, and Drivers Silva, Sale, Ferree, Crotti, Buckinhgam, Hudgins, Borden, and Hoseman Jensen.

    • 1951: Merced Fire Department became one of the first in California to have telephone fire alarms broadcast emergencies over an amplifier system so that the fire fighters in the station could hear the requests for help.

    • Feb 1, 1951: Equipment and manpower temporarily reassigned to the two new residential stations located at 11th and L Street (Mc Namara Park) and 27th and K Street as follows:

    1951 New American La France Aerial

    • May 7, 1951: A twelve cylinder 1951 American LaFrance 75 foot hydraulic operated Aerial Ladder Truck with a ladder pipe for water tower operations was placed in service.

    • 1951: A six cylinder, GMC chassis, manufactured by P. E. Van Pelt, Triple Combination 1000 GPM Pumper was placed in service.

     1000 GPM pumper being built by Van Pelt Inc.

    • Mar 19, 1951 8:30 p.m.: The Merced Fire Department, Merced County Fire Department, and Castle Air Force Base Fire Department responded to department's largest fire in many years. The fire was put under control at 10:45 p.m., and was completely extinguished at 4:00 pm the following day. Fire losses amounted to $230,000.

    Cross Lumber Company fire at its heightCross Lumber Company after the fire

    • 1952 : The limestone City Hall and Firehouse, was demolished due to the lack of sturdiness and the third civic center and fire station was built at the same location.

    Old Limestone Building 1951 or 1952 Before Being Demolished

    • Feb 15, 1952: Captain Arthur "Buck" Buckingham, who joined the department in 1946, was named the Superintendent of Fire Alarm. Under his supervision, a new fire alarm system was installed by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Company. With the completion of the project, the City of Merced's Insurance rating improved from a Class 4 to a Class 3, which meant a reduction of about 14% in insurance rates.

    • Third fire houseJun 1952: The El Capitan Hose Company No. 1 disbanded due to a disagreement with City Council.

    • 1952: Company District Inspection Program was implemented. This program provided an opportunity for the Fire Fighters to become acquainted with all of the structures with their jurisdiction while educating the public about the many services provided by the Fire Department.

    • November 2, 1953: City Council approves Ordinance 503 establishing a Bureau of Fire Prevention in the Fire Department and defining its powers and duties. (Note: We do note that it appears the Bureau was already created on November 21, 1949).

    • 1953: The Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific reclassified the City of Merced from a Class 5 city to a Class 4 city.

    • 1953: In cooperation with the Merced Elks Lodge, firemen repaired and painted Christmas toys for the under privileged children in this area. Approximately three hundred children benefited by the joint effort.

    • 1954: The Merced Junior Fire Department program was established to teach 5th graders in Merced City about fire prevention. The program was sponsored by the Merced County Association of Insurance Agents and developed by the Superintendent of Schools, principals, teachers, and fire fighters. During the fiscal year 1954-1955, the Junior Firemen had inspected approximately 500 homes in the City of Merced. A number of fire hazards had been eliminated by such efforts. During the second year of the program, over 1000 homes were inspected.

    • 1956: The Merced Trade Club, purchased Sparky, a plastic, mechanical talking Dalmatian, to educate the public about fire safety in October.

    • 1956: During the Cold War, the Merced Fire Department instituted the Civil Defense Program to safely evacuate the citizens in case of nuclear attack. Mobilization points and mass care centers were established just outside the 30 mile radius of Merced. The Merced County Courthouse building (now the museum) was designated as a fallout shelter. The Fire Alarm Operator plotted fallout patterns twice daily, to determine which way radioactive fallout would travel, in the event of an atomic bomb attack.

    • Feb 21, 1959: A six cylinder, American LaFrance, Triple Combination, 1250 GPM Pumper was placed in service.

    • Jun 1959: A 3rd Fire substation (Company 54) was added on 1425 E. 21 Street. Contractor Vernon Fitchett completed the fire station under a $58,900 contract and firefighters occupied the fire station on Monday, June 8, 1959. A $7,357 alarm system had been installed and a $24,000 American LaFrance truck was ordered. The station borrowed a truck from the central station until their truck arrived. The firefighters performed all the landscaping and it was staffed with two two-man platoons. The "A" Platoon consisted of Captain Ted Ferree and Driver Melvin Miller. The "B" Platoon consisted of Captain Homer Sponholtz and Driver Tom McCully.

    • Sep 25, 1959: Six cylinder American LaFrance, Triple Combination, 1250 GPM Pumper was placed in service.

    • 1961: An eight cylinder half-ton Ford pickup equipped with a John Bean high pressure unit and a 100-gallon water tank was placed in service.

    • Jan 1961: The Cooperative Fire Prevention Clean Up Campaign was implemented, whereby, with the cooperation of the property owner, the Fire Department would burn down the properties which warranted removal.

    • 1964: The Fire Department inspector, with the permission of the vehicle owner, would request that the local wrecking company, remove abandoned vehicles.

    • Sep 25, 1959: A six cylinder American LaFrance, triple combination, 1250 GPM pumper was placed in service.

    • Jan 7, 1961: An eight cylinder half ton Ford pickup equipped with a three-way radio was placed in service as a Utility Pickup.

    • Jan 16, 1965: An eight cylinder Chevrolet, four door sedan equipped with a two-way dual channel radio was placed in service as the Inspector's car.

    • Jan 10, 1968: An eight cylinder Chevrolet station wagon equipped with two two-way radios with dual channels which can send or receive City Fire, Police, County Fire, and Corporation Yard frequencies, was used by the Assistanct Chief's card and placed in service.

    • Oct 18, 1968: A six cylinder Detroit Diesel American LaFrance, triple combination, 1500 GPM pumper was place in service.

    • Dec 24, 1968: A six cylinder Chevrolet half ton pickup with compartmenized utility body which was used for communication installations and repairs was placed in service.

    • Feb 1970: An eight cylinder 3/4 ton Chevrolet pickup equipped with a John Beam high pressure unit and a 100 gallon water tank was placed in service.

    • Jun 12, 1970: A six cylinder Chevrolet station wagon equipped with a two-way dual channel radio for Fire Prevention was placed in service.

    • Feb 19, 1971: An eight cylinder Chevrolet, four door sedan for the Fire Chief was placed in service on February 19, 1971.

    • Sep 9, 1971: An eight cylinder, Detroit Diesel American LaFrance, triple combination 1500 GPM pumper was placed in service.

    • 1971: The Christmas Toy program started in the 1940's became a tradition. During the Christmas season, toys donated throughout the year were repaired, painted, and taken to the Salvation Army for distribution. the program was sponsored by different businesses and clubs in Merced.

    • Sep 9, 1972: An eight cylinder Detroit Diesel American LaFrance, triple combination, 1500 GPM pumper was placed in service.

    • June 3, 1974: Fire Chief George Coolures retires and City Council via Resolution No. 4223 commends him for his service from May 8, 1949 to March 1, 1974.

    • June 3, 1974: Fire Captain Homer Sponhaltz retires and City Council via Resolution No. 4224 recognized him for being an outstanding citizens in his contribution of much of his personal time and energy as Chairman of the Annual Christmas Toy program for his service from January 10, 1942 to May 5, 1974.

    • June 3, 1974: Fire Captain John G. Hoefel acknowledged that education is necessary in the Fire Service, for the entire benefit of the Fire Service and the community served, and through great personal sacrifice of home an family, he completed his college education in the Fire Service field and became an instructor for Fire Science and Merced Junior College and his career was terminated due to disability in the line of duty. Captain Hofel served from August 16, 1953 to September 12, 1973.

    • June 3, 1974: Fire Captain R. V. Brewer acknowledged that education is necessary in the Fire Service, for the entire benefit of the Fire Service and the community served, and through great personal sacrifice of home an family, he completed his college education in the Fire Service field and his career was terminated due to disability in the line of duty. Captain Brewer served from August 16, 1961 to October 5, 1973.

    • 1974: Joe Ortiz, second fire chief of the department, was hired.

    • Jul 28, 1975: A live Marine grenade, which was part of a display board set up by the U.S. Marines Corps in the Merced Mall, exploded and Lewis Anderson, an 18 year old mall security guard, was critically burned and later succumbed from his injuries.

    • Dec 9, 1975: A fire substation (Company 52) was opened in December at 1400 Falcon Way at the airport. The McNamara park station was closed.

    • 1977: A new fire station was opened at 800 Loughborough Drive (Company 53). The substation on 27th and K Streets was closed and used as a training and storage unit. It is identical to the Airport Fire Station.

    • Mar 17, 1981: Merced hotel fire occurred with estimated losses at $1.5 million, which became the first of 6 major fires occurring in a two year time span.

    • May 27, 1981: G & T Market fire.

    • Aug 4, 1981: Central Hotel fire, with $400,000 in damages.

    • Nov 30, 1981: Furniture U.S.A. store burned, resulting in $650,000 in damages.

    • Feb 15, 1982: Greenbriar Apartments burned.

    • Apr 15, 1982: Geenbriar Apartments burned a second time.

    • Feb 16, 1982: Carpet Town injured nine fire fighters and caused $160,000 in damages.

    • 1982: Chief Ortiz resigned and Ken Mitten, became Acting Fire Chief.

    • Sep 1982: Ken Mitten appointed as Fire Chief.

    • 1983: Insurance Rating changed from a Class 3 to Class 2 Fire Department, as a result of the development of a Community Fire Protection Master Plan.

    • October 17, 1987: One of the largest fires in memory was the McNamara building. Damages were estimated at $1.75 million to the structure and contents. 59 fire fighters responded along with 6 engines, and 2 ladder trucks.

    • September 28, 1992: City Council signs an agreement to provide mutual fire protection aid to Castle Air Force Base located in Atwater, California.

    • Fourth fire houseOct 24, 1997: Central Fire Station and Administrative Offices are moved to 99 E. 16th Street.

    • August 13, 2001: City Council approves the replacement of two reserve pumper engines (F-60 and F-64) with Two Pierce Dash 2000 Triple Combination Pumpers for a total cost of $409,250 ($204,625/each).

    • 2002: A medal was issued by the Gateway Coin Club of Merced County honoring the pumper built in the 1860's by William Jeffers & Company of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

    • July 18, 2005: City Council approves the purchase of a Pierce Dash 2000 Pumper at a cost of $477,481.53.

    • Feb 10, 2006: A fifth fire substation (Company 55) was opened, costing $2.50 million.

    • Feb 21, 2011: Michael W. McLaughlin is appointed as the department's fourth Fire Chief.

    • July 15, 2013: City Council approves the purchase of a Pierce Quantum PUC (Pump Under Cab) Pumper for $539,554.59.

    • July 20, 2015: City Council approves the purchase of a Pierce Quantum PUC (Pump Under Cab) Pumper for $575,203.42.

    • Jan 31, 2014: Michael W. McLaughlin's last day as Fire Chief.

    • Feb 2, 2014: City Council appoints Michael R. Wilkinson as Interim Fire Chief, effective, February 10, 2014.

    • Feb 10, 2014: Michael Wilkinson begins serving as Interim Fire Chief.

    • Jun 30, 2014: Michael Wilkinson departs as Interim Fire Chief.

    • Jul 1, 2014: Don Long appointed as Acting Fire Chief.

    • Jan 11, 2015: Don Long's last day as Acting Fire Chief.

    • Jan 12, 2015: Shawn Henry appointed as the Merced Fire Department's fifth Fire Chief.

    • September 1, 2016: Shawn Henry retires as the Fire Chief.

    • November 21, 2016: Former Interim Fire Chief Michael R. Wilkinson begins serving as the Merced Fire Department's sixth Fire Chief.

    • June 5, 2017: Council approves the purchase of one Pierce Quantum PUC (Pump Under Cab) for $806, 029.79 and one Pierce Quantum 107' Tractor-Drawn Aerial (Ascendant Tiller) for $1,660,937.85.

    • August 21, 2017: City Council accepts the assignment of a Cal OES Type-2 Urban Search and Rescue Trailer and Associated Equipment Cache at an estimated value of $109,366.86.

    • July 3, 2018: The Fire department's first tiller truck ($1,660,937.85) arrived at Station 51. Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin manufactured the tiller and it replaces our 1993 ladder truck. Steve Crothers and other Seattle firefighters with the Response Training Group, will be providing us further training on driving the tiller.

    • November 26, 2018: Fire Chief Michael R. Wilkinson retires.

    • November 27, 2018: Deputy Fire Chief Billy Alcorn is appointed Acting Fire Chief.

    • March 25, 2019: Deputy Fire Chief Billy Alcorn appointed to Fire Chief. Fire Chief Alcorn who is 35 years old, began his career with the City of Merced as a Firefighter in 2004,quickly promoting to Fire Engineer, Fire Captain, Fire Battalion Chief, and Fire Deputy Chief in 2015. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cogswell Polytechnical College and the Executive Fire Officer program from the National Fire Academy.