Celebrating 150 Historic Years With San Francisco Fire Department

In 1866 the San Francisco Fire Department was established. Since then, the department has left its mark on history responding to crises such as The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 to the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989.

Today, the San Francisco Fire Department serves an estimated 1.5 million within San Francisco’s 49 square miles, providing fire suppression and emergency medical services to the residents, visitors and workers of the city.

2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the organized fire department. In a city where fires are a consistent menace, the San Francisco Fire Department has been a heroic constant, saving lives and protecting its beloved city.

Significant events that shaped the department

1866: The Department goes into active operation.

1895: Ambulance service begins with horse-drawn wagon.

1898: A huge blaze reveals a lack of water to fight fires successfully.

1906: The 1906 Earthquake & Fire, a jarring earthquake caused 52 fires resulting in the death of over 3,000 people.

1912: The Emergency Service obtains its first vehicle ambulance.

1954: The “Phoenix”, a fireboat that can deliver 9,000 gallons per minute (GPM) at 150 pounds pressure per square inch (PSI) or 3,200 GPM at 300 PSI is put into service.

1989: Loma Prieta Earthquake

2004: Joanne Hayes-White is named to head the Fire Department; the first time a woman has been picked to lead a major city’s fire department in the country

The Fire-Dex team congratulates the San Francisco Fire Department on 150 years of excellence.

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