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Ted Wright -- last update 6/22/2005 (FireEMSJun22..html)
Copyright 2005 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

Collinsville Fire & EMS
June 22, 2005
From The Past (Cont).
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Horse Drawn Fire Wagon Not Replaced until 1916 ... Horses Lived In City Hall Until Then

As near as I can tell, there was no organized ambulance service in the early days of Collinsville. Some stories talk of putting victims in wagons and hauling them to town or sending for the doctor who would ride to a victim's home for treatment. It apparently evolved with the undertaker using the hearse for double duty to haul sick folks. Mr. Lee (above) was one of Collinsville's early undertakers in addition to providing several other services as the 1909 ad indicates. Melvin Lowe was the owner of the Collinsville Funeral Home in 1974-75 when the City finally took over providing the service as it expanded into providing medical care in addition to just transportation.
Just a bit about the horses (& monkey) associatied with the early Collinsville Fire Department.
The City of Collinsville started providing ambulance service in September of 1975. The ambulances were housed in the same building shown above until this past week or so (June 2005) as the crews and equipment are transitioning to the new Fire/EMS building just completed. During parts of 1974-75 the service was provided by "Village Ambulance Service", after the Collinsville Funeral Home stopped providing ambulance service.
When the Collinsville City Hall was first completed the fireman had to learn to use the fire pole safely to get from the upstairs living quarters to respond quickly to a fire. That pole was still in use up until the Dec. 2001 City Hall fire.
This is likely my last photo of the grooves in the old fire station bay of City Hall (before the new flooring covered them June 7th). Some speculate that the grooves were originally added to provide traction for the horses pulling the fire wagon from City Hall.