History

1951

John GroppWest Terre Haute Volunteer Fire Department was formed. One of the main leaders, John Gropp (pictured at right; year 1977), served as the first fire chief. The old fire station was located at 500 West National; the current location of West Terre Haute Police Station.

1955

On March 18 a devastating fire on North Arms Place in Saint Mary of the Woods destroyed a large home on the chicken farm owned by Saint Mary of the Woods College. George Maher recognized the need for fire protection in Saint Mary of the Woods. He enlisted the help of Father Goosens, the priest of a nearby church. Together they formed the Saint Mary of the Woods Fire Department. Maher hand-built the first fire truck used by Saint Mary of the Woods Fire Department and served as the first fire chief. The old firehouse still stands today and is used as the training facility for Sugar Creek Fire Department.

1960-1980

Both departments struggled for funding from the township trustee. They often bought used trucks and equipment in attempt to make the dollar go as far as possible. West Terre Haute Fire Department was the busier of the two; however they relied heavily on the help from Saint Mary of the Woods Fire Department.

1990s

Many fire chiefs passed through the West Terre Haute Fire Department eventually leaving Darrick Scott the fire chief. George Maher officially resigned as fire chief from Saint Mary of the Woods Fire Department and turned the reigns over to Jim Holbert. West Terre Haute Fire Department built a new station (now Station 41) and sold the old firehouse to Terre Haute First Financial Bank. The new firehouse was huge compared to the old one. The working relationship between the two departments improved greatly. The 911 system was introduced and the two departments were dispatched as Sugar Creek Fire.

1997

The two departments officially merged and became Sugar Creek Fire Department. Chief James HolbertA very important election was held to decide who would become the first fire chief of Sugar Creek Fire Department. The two candidates were Chief Darrick Scott and Chief Jim Holbert. Chief Scott made it clear that he did not want the position and the he was going to vote for Jim Holbert. Jim Holbert (pictured at left) was elected. Sugar Creek Fire Department became a fire district and was no longer controlled by the township trustee; instead a governing board of taxpayers oversaw the department’s spending. That group later became the District Board. The newly formed Sugar Creek Fire Department received a well needed increase for the budget which allowed for the purchase of new equipment; equipment that was well overdue.

2007

On September 1, 2007 Sugar Creek Fire Department went full time with three employees each working 24 hours on duty, 48 hours off, on a 3 shift rotation. This allows the fire department to guarantee 24 hour coverage for the residents of Sugar Creek Township.

2008

In February of 2008 a new addition to the fleet was made. A 75 foot Darly Quint was placed into service. This new addition was the result of years of hard work and planning by the administration.

Current Day

SCFD PatchSugar Creek Fire Department covers Sugar Creek Township with an area of 46.2 square miles, the largest township in Vigo County. Sugar Creek is the second busiest department in the county with over 800 runs annually. The fire rate in Sugar Creek Township is much higher than most other townships in the county leaving Sugar Creek Fire Department the busiest department when it comes to fighting fire.

After 35 years of service, Chief Holbert announced his retirement in early 2010.  This came as a heartache to many.  January 1, 2011 Deputy Chief Darrick Scott officially took command of Sugar Creek Fire Department.

In 2013 construction was completed on the new administrative building, providing an office space for the district board, the command staff and a much needed, updated classroom.