History of the Meridian Fire Department
In early 1908, the City of Meridian formed their first Fire Department when a group of volunteers successfully tested a newly purchased Champion double cylinder chemical fire extinguisher. With LeRoy Adams as the first Fire Chief the department started out fairly small, serving only 600 residents at the time. Jacob Eames, a local blacksmith followed Chief Adams as the second Meridian Fire Chief and in approximately 1924 Amos Whiteley, another local blacksmith and skilled mechanic took the job.
As the City and Department continued to grow, Roger Welker took over the Fire Chief position in 1945. Chief Welker remained Chief until 1983, dedicating 38 years to our Department. In the early 1950’s, during Welker’s time as Chief, a partnership was formed with the Rural Fire Protection District to better serve and protect citizens in the City limits and the Rural area. This partnership proved to be very beneficial to the City and the Rural Fire District and continues today.
In late1983, Kenny Bowers became Meridian Fire’s fifth Fire Chief. Kenny served in this capacity part-time until 1992 when he moved into the position full-time. Chief Anderson accepted the position of Fire Chief for the City of Meridian in April of 2005 and Chief Bowers moved to Asst. Chief. Chief Anderson retired in April of 2010 and the Department’s Deputy Chief of EMS, Mark Niemeyer, was promoted to Fire Chief. In 2020, Chief Niemeyer departed from Meridian Fire, and the Department’s Deputy Chief of Operations Charlie Butterfield was named Interim Fire Chief.
Today the department runs on an 12 million dollar budget. There are six stations, a training tower and a Fire Safety Center within the District. The Department employees a total of 91 employees. Meridian Fire currently responds to over 7,700 calls per year.