The Early Years
The Comstock Fire Department traces its history all the way back to 1924. At that time, there were no paid staff and not even any firetrucks—just a few dedicated volunteers manning a bucket brigade, and later a wheel-driven cart.
It soon became evident, however, that more fire protection was needed for the community. In 1928, funds were raised to establish a fire protection association. Those funds were used to acquire both a Model T truck and an old, used fire truck, which the men put together to make the department’s first working fire engine. The association also elected its first fire chief.
The department gradually upgraded its equipment over the next two decades to meet the growing needs of the community. The second fire engine was a Packard Paddy Wagon that was outfitted for service. Later, the department purchased its first “true” fire truck, a 1934 Chevy with two 30-gallon soda acid tanks on the back. This truck, nicknamed “Daisy June” by the community, was later outfitted with a 500-gallon tank for added pressure.
In 1943, the department purchased its first brand new fire truck, a Seagrave “No. 43.” Although no longer in service, this truck is still owned by the department today.
Continuing to Grow
In the late 40s, two separate fire districts were established and more volunteers joined the department to meet the ever-growing needs of the community.
The township board also needed an office, and so a joint township hall and fire station was built near the corner of River St. and Comstock Ave in 1951. Though the township hall eventually moved to a new location on King Hwy, Central Station would be located here for almost 60 years; the Comstock Township Firefighter’s Memorial now occupies the site where it once stood. “Daisy June” and the Seagrave No. 43 were the first fire trucks housed at the station.
Due to the growth of the township and the need for more fire protection, a second fire station with two truck bays was built in 1961 at the corner of East H Avenue and N 26th Street. The first trucks stationed here were a 1961 Ford 500 G.P.M. pumper and a Seagrave No. 42. Two more bays were added in 1971.
CFD in the Twenty-First Century
In 2001 we added our third fire station at 8700 E Michigan. Station 9-3, previously known as “East Station,” remains in service to this day and also contains the administrative offices for the department.
The current Station 9-1, previously known as “Central Station”, located one mile south of the original 1951 Central Station, was built in 2009. During the summer of 2014, the 1961 “North Station”, now known as Station 9-2, was demolished and rebuilt at the same location. During construction, the station was temporarily relocated to the Church of God on East H Avenue.
On January 9, 2015, Comstock Fire & Rescue responded with many other area departments and agencies to Interstate 94 for what ended up being a 193-vehicle pileup that shut down the interstate for over 2 days.
In February of 2017, the Insurance Services Office completed a formal review of Comstock Township and improved its Public Protection Classification. With the change in classification, Comstock became one of the top 233 fire departments in the State of Michigan (out of almost 2,000) in terms of fire protection and its potential cost savings for residents and business located within the township.
On June 14, 2017, Fire Chief Ed Switalski was struck and killed by a vehicle while working the scene on a vehicle slide off. This was the first line-of-duty death for Comstock Fire & Rescue since its inception in 1924.