In 1946, the phones in eastern Beavercreek were on the Xenia exchange and western Beavercreek was on the Dayton exchange. Both fire stations (Number 1 and Number 2) had a common Dayton phone number. The Number 1 station in eastern Beavercreek had to have an additional phone number on the Xenia exchange. It was difficult at times, as some residents had to call long distance to get the fire department. Four different homes were equipped with fire phones. Emergency calls came in to all of those homes like a party line. Those homeowners always prearranged that at least one resident would be home to take calls. In addition to that, they were able to set off the sirens located on top of the fire stations. If our volunteers heard the siren, they reported to their fire station. The person taking the emergency call would also call the District Chief and if he was not home, would call the next one on the list. In turn, that firefighter’s wife would call two other firefighters’ homes. So on down the list of phone numbers went the call, like a chain reaction.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, fire monitors were purchased by the township, the station association, or by the firefighters themselves. Each firefighter had one at his home.
Elmer (Barney) Wolfe: Dispatcher
Elmer (Barney) Wolfe was a firefighter from 1946 to 1951. He was a farmer and while out hunting on his farm on Thanksgiving Day in 1951, he stepped in a hole and injured his back. From that accident he became a paraplegic and had to quit farming. He and his wife, Wanda, and their three sons moved to a home on Forest Drive. Then he became our primary dispatcher 24 hours a day. He did this for many years without compensation; then, finally he received a stipend. Eventually he did receive a salary. There was a backup dispatcher at the home of Joe and Eileen Rose. The Roses lived on Forest Drive close to Barney. When they received a fire call, they would radio dispatch the call to our firefighters and also set off the sirens on the fire stations.
In 1968, all emergencies, fire and police, started being dispatched from a base headquartered at the Beavercreek Police Station on North Central Drive.