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Station 12: Western Branch

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We pulled out of Station 12 on Cedar Lane in Portsmouth on January 1, 1968 at midnight. The new Station 12 on Taylor Road was under construction, but did not open until 1970. We ran 3 engines and a medic out of Station 11 until 12 was complete. When we moved into Station 12 we had a 1955 International with a 500 gallons per minute volume pump and a John Bean high pressure pump. We also had a 1962 Dodge which had a John Bean pump only. Our ambulance was a 1967 International Travelall. We also had a boat and an old Dodge pickup with push button gears to pull it.

The crew was as follows:

  • Chief of Western Branch: Earnest H. Edward
  • Captain Sherman Goddin
  • Captain Karl Kloffler
  • Lieutenant Raymond Carr
  • Lieutenant Seldon Hoffler
  • Lieutenant Swede Hansen
  • Firefighters Marvin Harris, Mickey Dennis, Cagie Calhon, Jimmy Wood, Buddy Tuttle.

These are the ones I can remember, there are so many because we had to staff Station 11 and 12. At that time only two people per day at each station. When the chief worked his 24 hour shift he drove the second run engine. The firefighter or junior man ran all one engine calls, the officer only went when the second engine was called.

The station had to be built on pilings because of the swamp conditions. I remember one day riding by the site when the trees were being removed and the bulldozer had sunk into the ground so deep only the roll cage could be seen. A crane had to come and remove it. We did not use dispatchers, when we used the radio we conversed with Station 11 and they put it in their log book and vise-a-versa. I could go on and on with memories. I was a volunteer during this time and was here to see it all.

Lieutenant Glenn M. Askew
Engine 12 "C"