The Early Years
When the City of Chino incorporated in 1910, it established a fire commission that consisted of three City Council members. The first Fire Commissioners for the City of Chino were Bill Tebo, Bill Houlihan and J. C. Reher. In May, 1912, Ordinance No. 36 was adopted and Fire Department Rules were set up. The group set out to obtain more equipment; and in 1918, the Department received a Lambert-Ford, 800-gallon-per-minute pumper. It was stored at the Seventh and D Streets' cart house.
Since the organization of the Chino Fire Department, it had responded to both City and rural district fire alarms extending the fire protection area to 93 square miles. The Lambert-Ford fire truck was in service from 1918 to 1923. At this time, the truck had been inefficient for the duties for which it was required. The City administrators made the decision to spend $8,500 and replace it with a 1923 American LaFrance with chain-drive and a 500-gallon-per-minute pump. This unit also carried a soda-and-acid chemical tank.
By October, 1915, the Chino Fire Company No. 1 was reorganized. Membership was limited to 23, and Olin Stark was appointed Fire Chief. Stark received $1.50 per fire.
In 1924, the City made the decision that their fire department should be a paid department. Frank Payne became the first paid Fireman for the City of Chino. The City still maintained 24 non-paid volunteer Firemen. Art Wagner completed the first fire station. The station was rented from the Odd Fellows Lodge at the northwest corner of Seventh and D Streets. This building became the headquarters of the fire department from 1924 to 1953.
In May, 1926, the City Council voted an allowance of $1 per month for fire drills and practices. In January, 1927, J. B. Andrews was appointed Fire Chief and was given a salary of $10 per month to oversee the personnel and to ensure the fire equipment was always ready to roll. During this time, the City Council ordered 20 Firemen badges and signs for their cars. In January, 1932, Art Wagner was appointed Fire Chief. He was given a salary of $20 per month to answer the fire phone at night and check equipment.