On July 10, 1961, the articles of incorporation were approved with the Indiana Secretary of State and the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department became a reality. The are to be served included Blue River, Jackson and Spencer Township and the Town of Crandall. This are comprises of 120 square miles and is still served today.
The incorporators and first Board of Directors were, Merrill Swarens, John Paul Beal, Wayne Batman, Raymond Ninkley, James Leffler, Robert P Davies and the Pau;l Pete Martin.
Robert P Davies was the organizing president and Wayne Batman was the first chief after fire fighting equipment has been procured and placed into service.
Through the efforts of the Ramsey Spencer Grange and the charter members of the department, door to door canvassing raised enough fund to begin. The first pumper was a used Rio chassis which had previously hauled beer, a donated fuel delivery truck and a salvaged midship pump from an old fire pumper. The truck was purchased for $380.00, the tank was sold for junk for a $1.00 and was donated by Dallas WRight.
In November 1962 the department contracted for lots 4 and 5 in Jackson City (Ramsey) for payment of $30.00 per month. An old chicken house on the property became the original fire station and still exists as a part of the current department complex. The property was paid off in 1968.
The First truck was purchased in 1962 and was a 1955 Reo Road Tractor. The tank was purchased from Standard Oil Company.
The second truck was a 1955 four wheel drive Dodge panel truck which was converted by the department to use on grass and brush fires. In 1968 a 1857 Ford Pumper was purchased from the Edgewood Fire Department. Needing more room the department added a 14′ by 54′ additions to the south and rear of the building.
In 1970 the Reo was replaced by the International Pumper. In 1972 a 1978 Ford 350E pumper with a 750 gallon per minute pump was added to the department’s fleet.
In 1971 a 1955 Dodge power wagon was replaced by a 1971 Dodge four wheel drive brush truck. This new truck was purchased from Gerdon Auto Sales in Corydon. The Dodge remained in service until 2009. In 1978 another Ford pumper was purchased to replace the 1957 Ford. The pumper is still in service today.
As the community grew, so did the fire department, In 1982, a new 5 bay 42′ by 60′ metal fire house was constructed on the original property in Ramsey. 1985 and 1985 saw renovation of the original fire house, with improvements both inside and out. In 1989, the department procured property and a building in New Salisbury and opened a second station there. The enables more efficient response times to emergencies, allowed room to grow and increases the areas of coverage for our present ISo rating. In 2003 a third station was added in the Depauw area. This station allows quick response to the residents in Spencer and Blue River.
Ramsey also provides Emergency Medical Service to the area of Harrison County north of I-64 and area of approximately 160 square miles. This service began in 1976 and the firefighters presently own, operate and maintain three state certified EMS ambulances.
In 1975, the Ramsey FIre Department procured and installed it’s own radio base station. This dispatch station was operated until fall of 1986 by the department and with all volunteer labor due mostly to the generosity of one of our members, Norman R. Swarens and his family. In 1986, Ramsey became part of the county wide Harrison County Central Dispatch System.
Chicken Bar-B-Ques have been a significant part of our history. Two are held annually, one in the spring and the other in the fall. During the early years, it was out of necessity as funds were nil. Today, the Bar-B-Que is a way of life with a large segment of the community, especially the long term residents. Good community support has always been enjoyed the the Ramsey Fire Department.
Our department has grown by the effort and work of the department’s members, but the support, donations and encouragement received by the community’s citizens has been the most important part of the growth of the Ramsey Fire Department.