Historical Timeline

Read about our history in Ozark.
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1904 – the southside of the historic square burned. There was one home, and three stores that were lost in the fire. At the time there was no fire protection in Ozark.

1905 – Ozark built the first fire department house in the city. The first fire wagon was a big two-wheel cart. The fire hose was wound between the big wheels. The firefighters were volunteer. They pulled the cart by hand if a horse was not available. There was a big bell on a post at the fire house. The first man there rang the bell to sound the alarm.


That bell is at Fire Station 1. It was made by C.S. Bell & Co. and is over 100 years old, manufactured between 1882 and 1894. Click on the circle to the left to view the full photo.


Ale Miller is the first Fire Chief (1905-1916).

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1906 – the eastside of the historic square burned. The newspaper (Tribune) was in one of the buildings, as well as some homes. These were some of the oldest buildings on the square, dating back to the 1880s.

1910 – the westside of the square burned, including Bingham Hardware, J.M. Pullen’s Photography Gallery, and J.K. Wallace’s Sheet Metal Establishment.


Click on the circle to the left to view the aftermath of the fire.

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1917 – the northside of the square burned. The Taylor hotel, Williams Café and Dad Reece’s Bakery burned.

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1927 – Ozark Fire bought their first new fire truck.

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1962 – Bill McNabb is the Fire Chief (1962-2000).

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1966 – $20,000 bond passed for capital purchases.

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1967 – Ozark Fire purchased a new fire truck with a 750-gallon pump.

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1983 – Station 1 is built.

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1984 – Tax levy is 30-cents.

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1990 – Stations #2 and #3 construction was completed for the Ozark Rural Fire Protection District, a separate agency with the same leadership as the City Fire Department.

A bond was passed for capital purchases.

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2000 – Jake Archer is named the Fire Chief.

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2/2/2004 – Full time firefighters are hired for the first time the 100-year history of the agency, 8-hour shifts, 2 firefighters per shift. 2 were employees for the City of Ozark, 2 were employees for the Ozark Rural FPD. Nights and weekends were volunteers only.

8/3/2004 – Merger of the municipal Ozark Fire Department and the Ozark Rural Fire District to the Ozark Fire Protection District. Jake Archer is the Fire Chief.

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1/1/2005 – Ozark Fire Protection District begins first day of service.


2/28/2005 – 24/7/365 fulltime firefighters (2 per shift).

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8/17/2006 – Station 1 expanded to present-day size. Gordon Dippel is the Fire Chief.

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4/3/2007 – Tax Levy to 38 cents from 30-cents (allowed for increase of staffing to 6 firefighters per shift).

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2/15/2008 – Old Station #2 was opened (CC @ North 22nd Street) 2 firefighters assigned per shift to this location.

2/25/2008 – Darren White is named interim Chief.

3/17/2008 – Living Quarters at Station 1 is flooded by waters from the Finley River.

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1/19/2010 – Station #3 opens with a residency program.

6/15/2010 – Darren White is named fulltime Fire Chief (2010-2019).

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3/10/2011 – OFPD takes deliver of twin fire engines (2011 Ferrara Fire Engines).

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2012 – Proposition A, a tax levy increase failed.

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2013 – ISO audit grades OFPD at a 4 inside the city limits, and 9 outside the city limits

4/2/2013 – Tax levy increase approved to 63 cents.

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2/3/2014 – First Battalion Chief (Shift Commander) hired.

3/3/2014 – Six additional firefighters are hired because of the tax increase.

4/10/2014 – Station 3 opens 24/7/365 with career staff.

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7/10/2015 – Station 1 floods from rising waters of the Finley River.

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April 2017 – Station 1 floods from rising waters of the Finley River.

April 2017 – Old Station #2 closes due to mold being found and the building being declared uninhabitable.

6/30/2017 – Inaugural Citizens Fire Academy class graduates 13 students.

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8/14/2018 – First Fire Marshal Don Gregory is hired by the District.

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2019 – Susie Ballard and Angie Johns are elected to Board of Director positions.

2019 – Fire Chief Darren White retires.

2019 – Assistant (later reclassified to Deputy Chief) Rob Crawford is interim Chief.

2019 – Longtime member and President of the Board of Directors Jay Johnson resigns.

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March 2020 – Susie Ballard elected by peers to President of the Board of Directors, Will Reynolds selected as Treasurer.

May 2020 – Jarret Metheny is hired as Fire Chief.

June 2020 – Matt Growcock selected to fill remaining time of former director Johnson’s seat.

July 2020 – Reclassification of Administrative Chiefs; Rob Crawford to Deputy Chief, Don Gregory to Assistant Chief.

September 2020 – Fire Station #2 is opened and located at 6052 North 25th St., covering the north side of the District.

November 2020 – Ten-year strategic plan is presented to the Board of Directors.

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January 2021 – Station #3 closes after mold is discovered in the building and is declared uninhabitable.

April 2021- Proposition fire passed by nearly 2/3 in favor