In the years before 1912, Melvin was protected from fire by volunteer bucket brigades. There were three main cisterns in the village: One at the corner of First and Crossley streets, a second at the corner of Main and Crossley streets, and the third on the south side of Main street between Center and Green streets.
The volunteer firemen of those early years were hampered by the lack of water, water pressure, and equipment for fighting fires. When a fire did occur, it was usually impossible to save the building on fire and most of the efforts of the firemen were directed to saving surrounding buildings.
Following the building of the Melvin waterworks in 1912, water from hydrants was available for firefighting. A two-wheel cart, pulled by men, was used to carry the hose.
In the early 1930's, a chemical truck was devised by the firemen. This furnished pressure for country fires and was used effectively numerous times.
The present volunteer fire department was established in 1949 in cooperation with Roberts. Thus the official name of the organization is "Roberts-Melvin Community Fire Protection District."
By 1971, the Melvin Centennial year, the equipment at Melvin included three large pumper trucks. They were housed in a modern block building on Center street just north of the business district.
At present, there are twenty-one volunteer firemen who meet the first monday of the month and nine first responders. The equipment includes two large pumper trucks, one tanker and one rescue. Larry Boundy is the current fire chief.