Above / The vintage 1924 Ahrens-Fox was the second piece of motorized fire apparatus purchased by the City of Naperville back in its day. The now museum-quality truck was restored 10 years ago and now is a popular entry in many Naperville parades.
Naperville Hose Co. No. 1, a 501(c) 3 organization, is comprised of retired and active members of the fire service. The nonprofit organization was founded to foster and perpetuate the history of the Naperville Fire Department, the preservation and maintenance of equipment, vehicles, clothing and related archival material.
Ruthi Sommers, now retired after 33 years with the NFD, serves as one of the trustees on the Naperville Hose Co. No. 1. For the past decade, the group has been volunteering to showcase the company’s history at Naper Settlement and preserve it for the future.
Currently, the nonprofit group also seeks to identify names of “non-full-time members” who previously served.
“Our organization is trying to determine, as best as possible, the names of any non-full-time members that served in good standing during the history of the department which was established in 1874,” noted Sommers.
“These individuals will be listed on a plaque to be displayed in the Fire Museum at Naper Settlement,” Sommers added. “Right now, the list stands at over 400 names, but in an effort not to overlook anyone, the public is being asked for assistance.”
Individuals with family members who served with the Naperville Fire Department are asked to send names to Ruthi Sommers at [email protected] by March 1, 2023.
Information such as start/end dates, rank, badge number would be extremely helpful. Also, include photos or any other additional information that might spark interest in the individual’s service to the fire department.
For more information contact Sommers at [email protected].
Photos courtesy Ruthi Sommers.