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History of the Nashville Fire Department

Chief John D. Ragsdale of the Nashville Fire Department organized the Nashville Fire Buff Club in 1952. Throughout the 60 plus years of service, the mission of our club has remained the same: To serve the men and women of the Nashville Fire Department.

Box 55 is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization of volunteers who offer rehabilitation services to the Nashville Fire Department and other municipalities. Our group is supported solely through donations and contributions. Currently, Box 55 responds to all working fires and by special request to other emergency situations such as search and rescue, SWAT, Haz-Mat, major MVA’s and other extended operations.

Refreshments are served out of a customized 18 foot response truck. This truck is equipped with a 40 gallon water tank for hot or cold water, an 18 cu. ft. refrigerator/freezer, a propane grill with a two burner stove, a microwave, all aluminum cabinetry and 2 coffee makers. This vehicle also carries misting fans, lighting, a generator, folding chairs, a kerosene heater and a cooler of cold drinks and snacks.

Box 55 members are alerted by pager and respond 24 hours, 7 days a week when needed. Based on protocol, one or two members drive the rehab unit to the incident scene, while other members will arrive in their personal vehicle.

A monthly meeting is held every third Thursday at Nashville Fire Department Headquarters to address the needs of the organization and to provide training. Visitors are always welcome to attend.

As the demands and definitions of rehab continue to change, Box 55 is dedicated to changing and growing with them. Our goal—to respond quickly when called and to provide rehabilitation and re-hydration to the fire department—remains the same.