The Nichols Hills Fire Department was formed in 1937 and was supported by volunteers. In 1941 the city decided to hire Ralph Taylor to assume the duties of fire and police chief. After a short term fulfilling a dual role he was appointed as full time fire chief.
The fire station at this time was an old lean-to garage behind a filling station. The station housed one fire engine, a used 1935 Chevrolet with a 250 gpm pump and a 500 gallon tank, and a bed for the fire chief.
The fire station was upgraded sometime in the 40's when the Nichols Hills Riding Academy donated a horse barn to the city. The barn was moved in and remodeled to house the fire station and city hall. Part of the old horse barn is still part of the fire station.
In 1955 the fire department had advanced to five full time employees. They worked 24 hours on and 24 off with no vacation or holiday time. In 1957 after a house burned to the ground the citizens decided they wanted better fire protection so they hired a new fire chief. In route to Nichols Hills the new chief was killed in an accident. The old chief was unaware that he was being replaced and only found out through the newspaper.
The city continued their search for a chief and hired Ed Kirkpatrick who was working for the Stillwater Fire Department at the rank of captain. Chief Kirkpatrick brought two men with him who took over the role of shift officers. Chief Kirkpatrick quickly instituted the volunteer "Red Book" training program. After that was completed he started the "Red Book" unit training program. At this time the department had five men on each shift bringing the total to eleven full-time employees.
In the mid-seventies we switched from the two platoon to the three platoon system bringing our total personnel to thirteen. Then in 1980 an assistant chiefs position was formed bringing our total to fourteen and that is where we are today. We currently house two fire engines, one brush pumper, and two command vehicles.
Since our inception we have had a total of seven fire chiefs, including the present, and one job related fatality. Captain Ron Stroud was killed while battling a house fire on January 29, 1990. That's how it was and is, at the Nichols Hills Fire Department.