John “Jack” Scheben

In 1904, members of the Erlanger community decided it was time to form a fire department to protect the citizens and their property. One of those members was Andy Scheben Sr, the first Fire Chief of the Erlanger Fire Department (1904 – 1926). Following his father, Andy Scheben Jr. would assume the title of Fire Chief (1926-1958).

This brings us to Chief Jack Scheben, nephew of Andy Jr and grandson of Andy Sr. After starting as a volunteer with the department in 1946, he would be named Fire Chief from 1976 to 1988.

Chief Scheben was married to Edwina and a research chemist by trade which was beneficial to the fire department when dealing with hazardous material responses. He was always calm, well spoken and caring. He was a founding member of the Erlanger Historical Society and served as President for years. His love for the department was passed along to his family. His sons; John, Joe, Pete and Tony have all served with fire departments throughout Northern Kentucky including Erlanger Fire Department. Up until 2018, there was consistently a Scheben on the roster for Erlanger Fire/EMS since its formation.

In 1996, after 50 years of service, Chief Scheben was recognized as the National Volunteer Fire Council’s “Firefighter of the Year”. This is the top volunteer in all of the United States for that year. The same year, the City of Erlanger renamed a portion of Alice Street to Jack Scheben Drive (this is the location of the former Fire Station 2) in his honor. In 2003, he was named in the Erlanger Friendship Garden for his service to the city. In 2014, Chief Scheben was named one of only four members of the department throughout the years as a Lifetime Member of the department. His radio number, Assistant Chief number “76” was retired to honor his dedication. Chief Scheben was a member until his passing in 2018.

Biography provided by Erlanger Fire/EMS Department