About the Fire Department

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The City of Alameda Fire Department is an organization of 117 dedicated, community service-oriented people who serve Alameda residents and visitors. We are also an all-risk public safety agency. This means we respond to all emergencies and hazards with the exception of those that are the responsibility of law enforcement.

Our services include: fire suppression, advanced life support, including ambulance transport services; fire prevention, and investigative services; community disaster preparedness, including Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT); hazardous materials response and mitigation; confined space rescue services and water rescue. We provide these services through Administration, Prevention, Training, Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Medical Services, and four strategically located fire stations with a minimum of 25 people on duty daily.

The City of Alameda has three strategic initiatives, which we also embody. They are: Economic Development, Employee Well-Being and Productivity, and Customer Service. We strive for economic development by streamlining our processes for business efficiency while seeking revenue opportunities to offset our operational expenses. We support employee well-being and productivity through training, career development, an employee wellness and fitness program, and by working in a collaborative environment. We provide exceptional customer service not only because it is one of the City's strategic initiatives, but because it is also the right thing to do. Our employees are trained, recognized, and rewarded for exceptional customer service.


The Beginning of the Alameda Fire Department

The Alameda Fire Department was organized on August 29, 1876 as a volunteer agency. In 1880 the Board of Trustees for the City officially recognized the Alameda Fire Department and placed it under the command of Chief Engineer Fred Krauth.

By 1881 the City had four fire houses:

  1. Citizen's Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1 and Thompson Hose Company, No. 1 on Webb Avenue just off Park Street;
  2. Whidden Hose Company, No. 2 (the former West End Engine Company, No. 1 on Webster);
  3. Central (Sherman) Hose Company, No. 3, on Sherman Street between Central and Santa Clara avenues; and
  4. Pacific Hose Company, No. 4, on Chestnut Street between Pacific and Railroad avenues.

By the end of the 19th century the Alameda boasted one steam fire engine, two chemical engines on wheels, six chemical extinguishers, two hook-and-ladder trucks, a pair of two-wheeled hose carriages, one hose wagon and four Johnson hand pumps. The appraised value of on the Fire Department's seven horses was $1,400 dollars and the value of all Department equipment was $12,000; the engine houses, $15,000.