Santa Monica Fire Department Celebrates 130 Years of Serving Our community!

March 27, 2019
by Suzanne Post

Santa Monica Fire Department Celebrates 130 Years of Serving Our community!

Organized fire fighting began in Santa Monica in October of 1875, when six citizens organized The Crawford Hook and Ladder Company. As Santa Monica grew so did the fires and the Fire Department. On March 22, 1889 a group of citizens gathered at the town hall to adopt the Constitution of the newly formed Santa Monica Hose and Ladder Company and the Santa Monica Fire Department was founded.

Santa Monica Fire Department in front of City Hall, June 1940.

Historical photo of Engine 2 in front of SMFD Fire Station 2, date unknown.

First documented photo of the Santa Monica Fire Department, date unknown.

During the next 100 years, the methods and resources of the fire service experienced many changes; hand-drawn carts and leather buckets were replaced with horse-drawn vehicles and steam pumpers, which quickly gave way to gasoline engines. In 1974, the Santa Monica Fire Department became the first fire department in the nation to deliver paramedic services by a fire engine company.  Since then, the department has grown into a Class 1 organization, providing highly specialized services including a full-time hazardous materials response unit, an urban search and rescue team, a dedicated airport response cadre, an accredited fire academy, and a comprehensive all-hazards fire prevention division.



Today, the Santa Monica Fire Department protects more than 92,000 residents in an area of 8.3 square miles and consists of over 130 firefighters and civilian employees under the command of Fire Chief Bill Walker.

We are honored to serve the City of Santa Monica and appreciate all the support from the community over the past 130 years!

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