A Little Bit About Us
A Little Bit About Us
Grants Pass Fire History
During the late 1880s, the citizens of Grants Pass felt the need to be protected by an organized fire department. On June 29, 1891, the City Council ordered a meeting to discuss and organize a volunteer fire department. On July 27, 1891, the Mayor of Grants Pass appointed R.P. Williams to fill the role of Chief Engineer of this new department.
The department consisted solely of volunteer personnel with the firehouse located in what is now an alley on “G” St, between 4th & 5th streets. The building housed a crude hand-drawn cart and a modest supply of fire hose. On May 1, 1892 fire department members organized the first ever “fireman’s ball” held to raise money for much-needed supplies. A grand total of twenty-five dollars was raised at the ball, enough to outfit a portion of the members with a black hat, belt, and red shirts.
Around the time of the purchase of Engine 2, the first paid firefighters were hired. From then on, the department became a combination of paid and volunteer staff. During the 1930s, the department began to take a more proactive role in fire prevention and education by providing building inspections which helped prevent the start of fires resulting from faulty wiring, inoperable chimneys, and other hazards.
By 1964, the city employed 12 full-time firefighters along with thirty volunteers. By this time a new pumper had been purchased to replace the aging 1927 LaFrance. The Fire Department had now grown to house 5 pumpers, an 85-foot aerial ladder, 3 1/2 miles of fire hose, and 47 paid and volunteer firefighters.
Today, the City of Grants Pass is protected by 30 full-time firefighters operating from three public safety centers. The full-time firefighters are supplemented by 9 student firefighters who are working on degrees through Rogue Community College. Grants Pass Fire / Rescue continues to provide fire protection to a growing community of over 40,000 residents. Today’s firefighters are well versed in the knowledge of fire science, building construction, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, and other specialized training. Grants Pass continues to receive the fire protection its citizens asked for in 1891!