Dover's fire department comes together

Frank Sauer sits in the pumper he built from a Cadillac chassis for the volunteer fire department.

Frank Sauer, a mechanic who owned a garage and auto agency on Center Ridge Road, served as a volunteer fireman in the 1920s. Dover did not have a fire truck so Frank decided to build a pumper for the volunteers. He took the chassis from an old Cadillac, and converted it into the village's first fire engine in 1926. Prior to this, Dover had a hand pump brigade.

In 1937, Frank was hired as Dover's first fire chief. He retired in 1966 at the age of 83 and Edmund Geiger became the next fire chief.

The fire department, always cognizant of the safety of Dover/Westlake's citizens, continued to improve not only services, but equipment. In 1938, a new fire engine was purchased at a cost of $7,000 and the Sauer-built pumper was retired from service. This Ahrens-Fox model was capable of pumping 980 gallons of water per minute. Today, Westlake's fire department has two engines and two aerial trucks capable of pumping 1,250-1,500 gallons per minute, as well as three medic units.

The 1938 truck can be seen today in our parades, as well as other special events including the annual Antique Vintage & Craft Show held every July at the Clague Museum. Children of all ages enjoy seeing and getting a photo with the engine.

Read More on Westlake Bicentennial
Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 6:51 PM, 06.28.2011