History of the Milford Volunteer Fire Department


In the early 1940’s there was very little fire protection service. After the fire that burnt Alfred Reid’s General Store in 1942, it was decided by the people of Milford to organize a Fire Department. This consisted of very able-bodied man manning a bucket brigade. At the end of the war an A.R.P. pump, purchased from war surplus stock, was mounted on a trailer along with a hose reel with 1000 feet of hose. This was stored at Ralph Taylor’s Esso Service Station. In the event of a fire, it was towed to the site by a vehicle owned by Ralph Taylor known as the "puddle jumper", or any other available vehicle.

The fire alarm was one long ring on the crank telephone and a hand cranked siren. This system went on for many years until the late 1960s when a 1943 American LaFrance fire truck was purchased from the City of Halifax.

In 1969 the Fire Department purchased the Community Hall for the sum of $1.00 from the Community Hall Company, and moved into the basement of the building. In 1969 Perry Giffen took over the position of Fire Chief from Ralph Taylor who had held the position for 20 or more years. Under Chief Giffen the Fire Department added a second truck, a 1969 Chevy. Mini Pumper in December 1974.

Carmen Langille assumed the position of Fire Chief in 1976 and purchased some equipment such as Scott Air Packs. Also the first 4 men attended the Waverley Fire School. In 1979, due to Chief Langille’s job, he was transferred to Moncton, Walter (Bobby) Wyer became Chief. Under Chief Wyer 3 more men attended Fire School and in 1980 a third truck was added, a Rand built truck with a 1977 Chev chassis, 350 gpm pump, plus more up to date nozzles and lengths of hose were added to the equipment.

In 1984 Jack Keirstead was our new Chief, working with 22 members who have worked hard over the years gaining equipment, such as foam making inductors, more Scott Air packs and training of all members at the Fire School in Waverley. This has ensured the ratepayers of Milford the best possible protection in times of emergency.

1984 saw the forming of a Ladies Auxiliary to help support the Fire Department both at emergencies and through fund-raising events. Their efforts have purchased more Air Packs, Protective clothing, Chimney Snuffer, Man Down Alarms and other tools.

In 1985 a new Fire Hall was built on the Milford Recreation property. The Department moved in on February 2, 1986 and our membership grew to 26 firefighters.

In 1987 Ralph Wardrope took over the position of Fire Chief as Jack Keirstead was transferred to the Valley with his job. Over the next 3 years the Department worked hard paying off the loan which was borrowed to build the new Fire Hall. A Thibault 840 gpm pumper was purchased through Crown Assets (DND). The first custom fire truck after the American LaFrance

1991 brought some more changes, the Fire Hall loan was paid off in full, the yard in front of the hall was paved, two used Fire Trucks were purchased from the City of Halifax (1974 Scott, 1050gpm Pumpers), 1000 feet of 4" supply line was purchased and the membership grew to 31 members.

Everyone worked hard to pay down the loan on the Scott Trucks in order to purchase a much needed new Tanker Truck and in 1995 a new International Crew Cab was purchased and the Tank off the old Tanker was modified to fit the new truck at LRB fabricators in Port Williams. The old 1977 Chevy Tanker was sold to a local farmer.

The membership level was at 24 members in 1996 and the object was to pay down the loan on the new Tanker so a new Pumper could be built.

In 2003 a used 1990 International Chassis was purchased to re-mount the body of the tanker which is now the current Tanker 621, the 1995 4 door cab was re-used for the new Pumper which was custom built by LRB Fabricators, it is the current Engine 611.

In 2009 two used Ambulances from the City of Montreal were bid on at Richie Brother’s auctions and transported from Quebec to Nova Scotia, The department has refurbished one unit which is the current Rescue 631, and has the other in reserve.

In 2011 we payed off the truck loan and are currently planning on replacing the tanker by 2014. 

In summer 2013 we purchased a new 2014 Ford F250 (Rescue 632) equipped with a Spacekap to respond to medical calls. This is the first all-new truck the department has ever purchased.
Rescue 631 was taken out of service and we are currently working on a replacement.

In 2014 we purchased 7 new Drager PSS7000 4500psi SCBA.
We are also the first fire department in Atlantic Canada to implement the Petzl Exo Personal Escape System.

With the help of the province's Emergency Services Provider Fund grant we purchased a Hurst Jaws of Life eDraulic combi tool, it is the first eDraulic tool to be put into service in the Municipality.

In November 2014 we took delivery of our new tanker and rescue from Fort Garry Fire Trucks of Winnipeg Manitoba.
The tanker has 1500gal of water and an 840gpm pump and is equipped with two 1-3/4" attack lines as well as 2.5" and 4" hose, therefore it can double duty as a pumper if needed.
The rescue is a 12' walk around style equipped with a combi tool, blocking, and cribbing for vehicle extrication. This is the first time the fire department has offered vehicle extrication, with the help of Elmsdale and Shubenacadie Fire Departments for vehicle extrication this offers an even greater level of service to the community and Municipality as a whole.

In January 2015 Ralph Wardrope retired as fire chief after 28 years. Brad Munro was elected the new Chief. The department has purchased a SKED rescue stretcher and 12.5mm rescue rope and equipment to perform slope rescue operations.

In March 2016 all the fire departments in East Hants switched to the 700mhz provincial TMR2 system for radio communications.