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Posted on: April 12, 2016

Miramar Fire-Rescue History

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The City of Miramar Fire-Rescue Department was established as a volunteer service in 1955. Volunteers were notified by the sounding of a civil defense siren located on top of City Hall. In 1956 the City of Miramar Fire-Rescue Department consisted of thirty volunteer members and a women’s auxiliary. Miramar’s first fire engine was delivered on October 1957 at a cost of $15,000. The 1957 Howe could pump 500 gallons of water per minute. In 1961, Miramar began constructing a new fire station. Donated supplies and labor supplemented the $15,000 cost of the station. That fire station is now known as the City of Miramar Senior Center. The second pumper Miramar purchased was a 1962 Howe capable of pumping 750 gallons of water a minute. In 1962, a young child was hit by a car and had to wait far too long for an ambulance to arrive. Following that accident, the City of Miramar volunteer firefighters raised enough money to purchase Miramar’s first ambulance. The Miramar Fire-Rescue Department received its State charter in May 1962. Miramar’s first dive-rescue team was formed in 1964. In 1971, two new Chevrolet vans were purchased for rescue service. In 1972, Miramar obtained a new Howe fire truck capable of pumping 1250 gallons of water per minute. Miramar hired its first Fire Chief in 1974 – George Van Edtvelt. Michael Murphy and Tom Carney were hired in 1975 as Miramar’s first paid firefighter/paramedics. Michael Murphy was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief in 1993. On New Year’s Eve in 1975, Miramar first began dispatching 9-1-1 calls with Frank Sullivan dispatching from Station 19 between 6 pm and 7 am. In 1981 the first firefighter’s contract was signed. In 1990, after an unsuccessful dive call and the lack of equipment and training, a firefighter named Fred Kunz successfully pursued a grant for dive-rescue training and equipment. Through the grant, the Department established and equipped a new Dive-Rescue team with 22 firefighters certified in underwater rescue operations and Fred Kunz as the dive coordinator. In 2010, Fred Kunz was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief. In August 2014, L. Keith Tomey was selected  Miramar’s Fire Chief. Chief Tomey retired in 2016 and Robert E. Palmer became Miramar’s Fire-Rescue Chief.

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