Stokes Township South Solon Fire Department replaces tanker

The Stokes Township South Solon Fire Department recently replaced its tanker.

(Posted April 16, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Stokes Township South Solon Fire Department recently purchased a new-to-them piece of fire fighting equipment that will improve not only local fire safety efforts but also mutual aid to other communities.

The 1993 International tanker replaces the Chevy Kodiak tanker the department purchased new in 1995. The Kodiak’s tank leaked and was not repairable. The department bought the International for $25,000 from Liberty Township in Palestine, Ohio.

The “new” tanker holds more water (2,750 gallons vs. the Kodiak’s 2,000 gallons) and can deliver water to portable dump tanks from the driver’s side, passenger’s side, and rear of the vehicle. The Kodiak only delivered water from the back.

The increased water capacity and versatility in delivery means the department can be of even more service in mutual aid situations with neighboring fire departments, said Chief Jeff Phillips.

The International also has three sections of cross-lay hose lines, a top-mounted deck gun that allows crews to extinguish fires more quickly, and a fold-down storage container that holds a portable water tank with a 3,000-gallon capacity.

“We took possession of the tanker two months ago. We’ve had it on a training–a brush fire scenario–and it worked really well,” Phillips said.

The department’s fleet includes the tanker, an engine, and a grass fighter.

“I would like to thank the Stokes Township trustees for allowing us to purchase this much needed tanker and the village and township residents for voting for our fire levy to allow us to have the funding to purchase such nice equipment,” said Phillips, who has served as chief since 2016.

The Stokes Township South Solon Fire Department is an all-volunteer fire department that averages 30 runs per year and covers a 35 square-mile area. The station is located at 7105 E. Main St., South Solon.

Ten individuals currently serve as volunteer fire fighters. The department is always looking for more volunteers. Interested parties must live in the department’s coverage area, attend three fire meetings, and receive an approval vote from the department’s association after which they will go through a training and certification process.

For more information about the department or becoming a volunteer, visit the department’s Facebook page or send email to

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