by Claudia Tompkins and Larry Reynolds

Entry T66 from the History of Hooker County Nebraska
with permission of the Hooker County Historical Society

Mullen Volunteer Fire Department 1988 Lloyd Ginkens Jr.
was the only one in both 1952 and 1988 Crew

1952 New Fire Engine & Firemen - L to R Unidentified, C.R. Johnson, Estel Hamilton, L.L. Ginkens, Jr.,
Almond elliott, Mac McCubbin, Lloyd Piester, Alex Burnett, Don Hall, Bud Gibson, Johnny Motl, Wayne
Fitzgerald, Neal Dutton, Emmett Long, and Walt Jones on far side of truck.

The three fire trucks, from L to R,
the new 1988, the 1951 and 1926 model

L.L. Ginkens Jr. in the 1926 Chevrolet fire truck
taken in 1988

L.L. Ginkens, standing beside the new 1988 Mullen
Fire Truck. The 1951 and 1926 are in the background

March 1917 was the second meeting of a
group of men to organize Mullen's Volunteer
Fire Company. At a previous meeting an
executive committee was appointed to draft
the bylaws of the organization, purchase
equipment and look after other business. The
committee had not completed the minor
duties and penalties that were to be levied for
any violations, for the second meeting. Vic
Hennegar was accepted as a new member at
this meeting.

Roy McCully was chosen as Fire Chief for
the ensuing year with R.C. Franke as his
assistant. A committee was appointed at the
March meeting to arrange the details for
some sort of social function to be given to
raise funds to be used toward buying an
electric fire alarm, costing $600 or more and
it would be turned over to the company as
soon as the Village Board ratified the
appointment of Roy McCully as Fire Chief.

In April of 1919, a fire crippled the light
plant in Mullen, which was located in the
basement of Mercure Brother's hardware
store. It was stated in the local paper at that
time, if it had not been for the prompt service
rendered by Mullen's volunteer fire com-
pany, both store and plant would have been
a total loss. Glen Boyer was the plant
operator at the time and had checked the
plant shortly before the fire, finding every-
thing in working order. This was the third fire
that had started in the plant, the engine and
dynamo suffered but little damage, estimated
about $1,000. Plans were discussed to move
the light plant to a more suitable location.

A new Chevrolet fire truck was ordered in
April of 1926 and was readied for service by
the Mullen Volunteer Fire Department in
May of 1926. The cost of the new truck
delivered to Mullen was $569. $318 was paid
on delivery with a balance of $251 to be paid,
so a dancing party was announced to the
public to raise the additional funds. Quote,
"If you can't shake a foot, go and listen to the
music, meet your friends and show that the
spirit of cooperation for city advancement is
still your hobby. The "Hot Shot" Orchestra
is engaged to furnish the music."

The Mullen Volunteer Fire Company
installed a telephone in the fire house and
installed a fire signal switch at the Central
Office in October of 1929. To activate the
alarm, the Central Office was called and the
operator in turn would turn on the fire alarm
and also notify the firemen at the fire house
about the location of the fire.

This first fire truck was used till 1952 when
a new model 1951 was purchased. Lloyd
Ginkens Jr. recalls a fire on the hill by the
former Ridenour home when the Volunteer
Firemen were called. The old truck sorta'
grunted ad complained till the boys got off
and helped it make the hill, by being pushed.
The new 1951 model served the community
well for 36 years as did the old truck for 23

In November of 1973, an Emergency
Medical Training school for Mullen Area was
scheduled by the Mullen Volunteer Fire
Department. They with the combined efforts
of the Mullen Rural Fire District outfitted an
ambulance to meet all requirements of state
and federal laws. The four wheel drive vehicle
is equipped with a two-way radio on the
sheriff's frequency and can handle up to four
patients at a time. Cost of the equipment was
near $17,000, about half of which was mat-
ched by state funds.

March of 1987, a fire at 2:45 A.M. broke out
in the home of Cliff Hendrix, house owned by
Ernie Leach. The Mullen Firemen arrived at
approximately 2:45 A.M. After getting the
truck hooked up and ready, firemen Ron
Boyer and Fred Marshall entered the house
with full gear including breathing apparatus
and quickly had the flame under control.
Altogether, 10 firemen responded to the call.
The fire truck was put back in the fire house
and the hoses and other gear put back in place
by about 5:00 P.M. This is just one example
of how alert and capable our Mullen Volun-
teer Fireman are.

In April of 1987 the firemen responded to
7 calls in 6 weeks, four in a span of 6 days;
grass fires - east, west and north of Mullen,
due to the dry conditions of the grass. The
fires were caused by lightning or trains.
A new Mullen fire truck was purchased in
March, 1988 at a cost of about $85,000 which
has all modern equipment which is certainly
a far cry from the new truck in 1926 or even
the one in 1951.

The volunteer firemen currently are: Larry
Reynolds,Fire Chief; Doug Cooley, Dick
Macke, Jay Dutton, Jody Reynolds, Dan
Daly, Terry Joe Huddle, Mike Arends, Wes
Skillings, Connie Pete Boyer, Ron Boyer and
Lloyd Ginkens, Jr., Lloyd Ginkens, and Jay
Dutton's father, Neal were firemen on the
1952 squad.