100 Years in 100 Days: Shaker Heights Fire Department's First Truck
100 photographs that define Shaker Heights
Shaker Heights Patch is celebrating the 100 years of Shaker Heights history by creating an online scrapbook. Each day for 100 days, we'll feature a photograph that helps tell the story of Shaker Heights.
Take a look at the Shaker Heights Fire Department's first truck, a 1917 American LaFrance. Today, it is housed in a garage at the Shaker Historical Society. Also pictured is a Shaker Heights Fire Department helmet, believed to be at least 60 years old.
Shaker Heights Village Council authorized the purchase of the truck for $8,250 in June 1917, essentially giving birth to the fire department. The department began with eight men. By 1930, it operated out of the new City Hall located at Lee Road and South Moreland Boulevard.
The department's employees worked 84-hour weeks by 1935, but that amount dropped to 72 by the '50s. During that decade, a firefighter's starting salary was $3,300 a year, or 89 cents per hour.
In the '50s, Shaker averaged 750 calls per year. That count is now up to 3,800.
Source — Shaker Historical Society
You can join our celebration of Shaker Heights history. Share your memories in the comments. Or upload your photos and we'll feature them in this scrapbook. Follow #ShakerCentennial on Twitter.