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History of the Big Walnut Joint Fire District


A painting of the original fire truck for the Marengo Fire Department, circa 1976

The Big Walnut Joint Fire District has served the citizens of Morrow County for nearly 100 years, tracing it's service back to the early 1900's when the "Marengo Volunteers" fought fire with their Model T apparatus. 

Marengo Fire Department and the Bennington Township Fire Brigade- early 1900s to 1971

Site of the Bennington Township Fire Brigade, circa early 1900's

The Village of Marengo relied on it's fire protection from the "Marengo Volunteers", a volunteer fire department quartered in this building. Their primary firefighting apparatus was a Model T fire truck, pictured at the top of the page.

Site of Marengo Fire Department, circa 1960's

Eventually a 1949 engine was purchased and a fuel tanker was converted into a water tanker

Marengo Firefighters pose in front of the tanker circa 1960's


Marengo Firefighters test the pump on a brush truck, circa 1960's


Big Walnut Joint Fire District 1971-Present

With the Morrow County Firefighter's and Squadsman Association formation of Morrow County EMS, the Village of Marengo and Bennington Township met to discuss the formation of a Fire District and disolve the Marengo FIre Department and the Bennington Township Fre Brigade. A levy was put on and the MVFD was dissolved and the Big Walnut Joint FIre District was created. Many of the Firefighters participated in the medical training offered by Morrow County to recieve their Emergency Medical Technician. The 1st fire station was torn down and a new fire station was built with the cooperation and donations from the community.

Historically refered to as the "60 hour miracle", members of the Marengo Fire Department attend training along side EMS personnel in 1971.


BWJFD Charter Board of Trustees - 1971

Gene Mathews, Cork Hope, Chuck Freeman, Gene Fitzpatrick, Elmer Temple, Clerk

BWJFD Charter Members - 1971

Chief Dale Whited, John Messmer, Alan Van Sickle, Bob Gale, Fred Adkins, Jow Pukcinsky, Fred Aberham, Chuck Freeman, Beanie Mailey, Peanut Rowlen

Addition of Village of Chesterville and a 2nd Fire Station

On March 2, 2000 the Council Members from the Village of Chesterville came to the Fire Board meeting and requested coverage by the BWJFD. On April 6, 2000 it was voted and agreed to sign a contract with the Village of Chesterville and assume responsibility for fire and rescue services.

Construction of a new fire station

With membership growing and the need for bigger and more apparatus being added to the fleet, the need for a bigger fire station was apparant. With a shoestring budget there was question as to how this new station could be built. After much planning, cost cutting measures were made and ground was broken on October 30, 2000. Among those who contributed to the building of the new station include:

Building construction- Bob Meridian, Ohio Penal Industries

Financing- President Bill Holden, Farmer's Bank, Bucyrus, OH

Project Manager - Pam Ward, Regency Construction Services

Building Plans- Bruce Giliam, MJBCI, Mt. Vernon, OH

The new station was dedicated in 2002.







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