Winchester Fire-EMS searching for its early history

Published 9:53 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

One of Winchester’s firefighters is searching for clues and information about its early history, which reaches back nearly 150 years.

Winchester Fire-EMS Lt. Nick Riggs has been collecting items and researching through old newspapers during his off hours, trying to find more about the department’s history.

“My biggest gaps are the 1870s to 1890s,” he said.

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He has found news articles when the department purchased trucks and other equipment. Photos have surfaced of a 1909 Webb fire truck, which is the fisrt motorized fire truck purchased in Kentucky, he said.

“The bell from that truck is downtown,” he said.

There have been receipts for shoeing the department’s horses ($1.50 in 1902), photographs of the original fire station and some memorabilia, he said. Riggs has scanned group photographs of the department where there is a number next to each person, but the key hasn’t been found yet, he said.

“We are in search of anything historical for Winchester Fire Department: badges, helmets, photographs,” Riggs said. “We’d be interested in at least looking at them and photographing them.”

Riggs said he is also interested in talking to anyone with stories or memories from the department’s past, regardless of the era.

Riggs can be reached at or 865-765-8303.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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