In 1970, the fire hall as we know it officially became operational. Prior to that, Espanola’s fire services had been managed by the local pulp and paper mill which is now owned by Domtar.
In earlier days prior the use of pagers, the mill’s steam whistle was used to alert firefighters of a fire call. A whistle-code was used to indicate what part of town the fire was in. For example, 3 short whistle blasts would identify a “mill fire” and 3 short and 1 long would indicate a fire in the downtown business section.
Over the years the Espanola Fire Service has had two Fire Chiefs since Chief Shore retired; Chief Ray Langlois and the current Chief, Mike Pichor. There have been three Deputy Chiefs; the first Deputy Chief Bourcier, the second Deputy Chief Jim Ramsay, and the current Deputy Chief, Henry Girard. The total number of volunteer firefighters was originally 22 which was then expanded to 24 to accommodate the number of volunteers who were shift workers and unable to respond to fires. That number remained the same until 2006 when it was increased to 28 due to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s requirements. Although many of the original volunteers have passed away, some retired firefighters still stop by and visit the fire hall from time to time.
The Espanola Fire Department is responsible for maintaining the optimum level of fire protection for all shareholders, including the residents of the Town of Espanola, Town Council, and the Province through the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office. This is done through one station with a full time Chief, part-time secretary, and twenty-eight dedicated volunteers.
Espanola Fire Services
592 Second Street
Espanola, ON P5E 1C4
PH (705) 869-3888