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Discover Our History

1882

  • First public meetings were held for the purpose of forming a fire brigade. A collection was started to buy fire fighting equipment and John Cottingham was appointed the first fire chief.History 1
  • A fire brigade was vital to the survival of the small community - wooden houses heated by wood or coal was very susceptible to fire.

1884

  • The Regina Fire Department begins as a "Bucket Brigade".
  • The first Fire Hall was located in the rear of the Town Hall, at Scarth Street and 11th Avenue, now the CIBC, Main Branch.
  • A rope attached to a Catholic Church Bell operates as the first alarm.

1886

  • Department purchases a horse-powered fire engine which pumped water from underground cisterns.
  • Fire Department is organized as a Volunteer Brigade with J. F. Smith as Chief.

1890

  • Department purchases a fire bell weighing 2,500 pounds.

1894

  • Department purchases a horse-drawn Roland Steam Fire Engine which had taken first prize at the World's Fair in Chicago.

1900

  • W. A. White appointed Volunteer Chief.

1905

  • First time waterworks system used for fire fighting as gravity flow pumps not yet in operation.
  • Department purchases first horse-drawn hose wagon and ladder truck.

1906

  • W.A. White appointed first paid Fire Chief.
  • Department purchases first team of horses. Prior to this, when an alarm of fire had been sounded, the first team to arrive at the fire hall would take the apparatus to the fire. The teamster would receive $5 for this service.

1907

  • Horse drawn fire apparatus consisted of 1 hose wagon, 1 ladder truck, and 1 steam fire engine.
  • The Department used 1 team of horses and a hand-drawn chemical engine.

1908

  • Installation of first street fire alarm system with 25 fire alarm boxes.
  • August 21, first fire alarm received with new system. Underground cisterns filled in as streets are paved.
  • Up to this time, the Fire Brigade had been strictly volunteer with the exception of the Fire Chief. Now, 1 or 2 paid men are added each year.

1909

  • Purchase of horse and buggy for transportation of the Chief.

1911

  • December 6, No. 2 Fire Hall opens at Scarth Street and 8th Avenue.

1913

  • Volunteer firefighters disband - motor fire apparatus installation: one pumper, one chemical engine and one aerial ladder.

1914

  • Installation of a fully paid department. No. 3 Fire Hall at Robinson Street and 14th Avenue opens. No. 4 Fire Hall at Winnipeg Street and Victoria Avenue opens.

1915

  • One of the first horses purchased by the Department, drops dead while responding to a fire alarm.

1919

  • First car purchased for Fire Chief replaces horse and buggy. Instituted a 2 platoon system for the firefighters. Hours of work: 10 on the day shift and 14 on the night shift. This signifies the end of firefighters living in the halls and getting time off to go out for meals.

1921

  • Central Fire Hall opens in 1600 block 11th Avenue. Hamilton Street hall closes.

History 2

1929

  • Department purchases additional motor fire apparatus. New No. 5 hall opens at King Street and 7th Avenue.
  • New Central Fire Alarm Office opens with all new equipment.

1938

  • No. 5 Fire Hall closes, leaving only 4 in the city.
  • W.A. White, first paid Fire Chief retires.

1939

  • 1 day's rest in 7 policy instituted. Firefighters had previously worked 7 days a week.
  • No. 4 Fire Hall, Winnipeg and Victoria Avenue closes, leaving only halls 1, 2, and 3.
  • Horses are retired as Department is completely motorized.
  • Original type Sou-Westers and Slickers are taken out of service.
  • Firefighters supplied with hard helmets and improved turn-out clothes for better protection

1940

  • New No. 2 Fire Hall opens at 1435 Albert Street to replace the hall at Scarth Street and 8th Avenue.

1946

  • Adoption of the 3 platoon system with 48-hour work week.

1948

  • First of self-contained breathing apparatus is purchased.
  • First piece of apparatus with a cab is also purchased. Previously, all vehicles had no cabs.


     

1950

  • Department purchases first 2 way radio equipment: 1 base station, 3 mobile units and 1 "Porta-Phone".

1956

  • New No. 4 Hall opens at Pasqua Street and 6th Avenue.
  • New Central Fire Alarm Headquarters opens at rear of No. 1 Fire Hall.
  • All new equipment is installed in this building.

1957

  • Hours of work for firefighters reduced from 48 to 44 hours per week.

1958

  • Hours of work for firefighters reduced from 44 to 40 hours per week.

1960

  • New No. 3 Fire Hall opens at Hill Avenue and Kings Road, resulting in closure of old No.3 Hall at Robinson and 14th Avenue.

1965

  • New No. 2 Fire Hall and Training Area open at 4th Avenue and Toronto Street.
  • Old No.2 Hall closes.

1966

  • 4 platoon, 2 shift, 42 hour work week is adopted on July 1st for a trial period.

1969

  • Department purchases an 80-foot aerial platform (Snorkel).

1973

  • Old No. 1 emergency vehicle is replaced with a newer, larger, fully automatic one.

1977

  • No. 5 Fire Hall opens at Grant Road and Grant Drive.

1979

  • No. 6 Fire Hall opens at 303 Rink Avenue.
  • New Headquarters and Administration building is completed adjacent to No. 2 Fire Hall.
  • Old Headquarters beside No. 1 Hall is closed and demolished.

1983

  • City hiring policy acknowledging minorities is implemented. Department fills 8 vacant positions with personnel of Aboriginal and Métis ancestry.

1984

  • No. 7 Fire Hall opens at 132 Victoria Avenue.


Old No. 1 Fire Hall today

1986

  • A new No. 1 Fire Hall is built at Albert Street and 13th Avenue. The old No.1 Hall is restored and converted into rental office space.

1988

  • The City of Regina retained Woods Gordon to conduct a major operational review of the Regina Fire Department.

1991

  • No. 3 Fire Hall and No. 5 Fire Hall close. A new station is built to replace both in a more central location of the south side, 2640 - 31st Avenue.

1993

  • Hazardous Materials Team is formed and trained. Lead Instructor is Al Borgardt formerly of the Calgary Fire Department Hazardous Material Division. Initial group consists of 40 personnel who are qualified to the Operational Level.

1994

  • Surface Water Rescue Team is formed and trained. Team put into service July 27.

1995

  • Department hires first female firefighter who begins training with 9 other recruits in September.

1996

  • The 1998 CAN-AM Police and Fire Games are awarded to Regina. Games to be held June 21 - 28.
  • First firefighter from Department participates in the International Firefighter Exchange Program and an exchange firefighter comes from New Zealand.
  • Helmet identification shields issued for the first time in response to concerns regarding fireground accountability.
  • Department reduced by 6 firefighters in August in response to budget cuts.

1997

  • Chief of Suppression and Rescue, Eugene Fletcher resigns January 10, 1997. Jack Lichtenwald is appointed new Chief of Suppression & Rescue.
  • For the second time, a firefighter participates in an exchange program. F.F. David Turner and his family from England trade places for 6 months with F.F. Lindsay Tolley and his fiancé.
  • Department yearbook is produced and issued to all members.

1998

  • Regina is host city for the 1998 SaskTel Ericsson Can-Am Police Fire games. Many Department members participate and volunteer.
  • 1991 van is converted for use by the Water Rescue Team.
  • Also, a trailer with portable power plant and lights is purchased to increase response capabilities.
  • The "Regina Community Alert" quarterly magazine is published, a joint effort between the City of Regina Public Affairs Department, Regina Police Service and the Regina Fire Department.
  • A "Smoke Alarm Installation Program" saw firefighters installing free smoke alarms to homes without detectors in a high fire frequency area. The alarms are provided by the Regina Home Builders Association.

1999

  • Director of Fire Services Hugh Gordon resigns in December due to department restructuring. New Chief Jack Lichtenwald is appointed.

2000

  • The fire Services Review was completed and approved by City Council in June, 2000. The review outlined 17 recommendations to improve Regina’s structural fire response program.

2004

  • First traffic signal pre-emption systems installed to allow fire vehicles approaching the intersection to receive the right-of-way with minimal delay.
  • Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) introduced on all front line emergency response units.
  • The Communications Centre relocated to the Fire Department Headquarters Building, June 2004.
  • The new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system introduced, December 2004.

2005

  • City Council approved the Regina Fire Bylaw to replace all previous fire bylaws.
  • Landlords are required to install hard-wire smoke alarms in all rental properties commencing January 1, 2006.
  • New Wildland Unit added.
  • Regina signs the Major Urban Disaster Mutual Aid Agreement to coordinate resources and response personnel from Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Weyburn and Yorkton in the event of a large scale emergency incident or disaster.
  • The Smoke Alarm Installation Program concludes after 8 years, 3,924 home inspections and 3,374 smoke alarms installed in high fire risk neighbourhoods.
  • Between 1998 to 2004, the number of people who died in homes without working smoke alarms dropped by 50%.

Group of firefighters walking infront of truck & station2006

  • Prevention and Public Education Divisions are combined to integrate fire and life safety education with fire inspection, fire bylaw enforcement and fire investigation functions.
  • Fire Education and Training Centre is newly renovated and modernized.

2007

  • Department recruits more than 2 dozen new members to fill vacant positions after a wave of baby boomers retire.