A Brief History of the Fire Department


The Santa Monica Fire Department is dedicated to preventing the loss of life, property, and the environment from fire, medical, and other natural or man-made disasters through aggressive prevention, training, public education, and emergency response.
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Organized fire fighting began in Santa Monica in October of 1875, when six citizens organized The Crawford Hook and Ladder Company. As the city grew so did the fires and the Fire Department, and 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. 

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. 
 
City of Santa Monica © 2019
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626