A Brief History of the Alliance Fire Department
Alliance Fire Department started out in 1893 by combining 2 volunteer companies, the Babcock Hook and Ladder Co. and the Keystone Fire Co. Volunteers staffed the department until 1897 when it became a paid fire department.
A fire station was built on Market Street at Freedom Avenue to house the new department. The building is still there, and is now the home of the Carnation City Players' Firehouse Theatre. Two more stations were added in the early 1900s. The station at Garwood and Liberty (number 2's) operated until the 1950s, was sold by the city and has been used by several business concerns since that time. Mount Union Fire Station (number 3's) at 2120 South Union Avenue has been in continual use since 1909. The department began operating out of the current Central Fire Station in 1974. The station sits on the site of the former Broadway School at 63 East Broadway Street.
Over 100 years since its beginning, the Alliance Fire Department still provides fire protection for Alliance's 22,000 residents answering about 3000 calls a year. Today, fires are at historical lows and firefighters are more likely to respond to EMS calls, carbon monoxide investigations, false alarms or hazardous materials calls than actual blazes. The total number of fires in the United States has dropped by nearly half in the last 20 years. In the same period, civilian fire deaths also dropped by almost half. Nationwide, fires account for only about one-sixth of all calls fire departments receive.
The department has 27 full time sworn personnel, and one secretary. The City of Alliance has provided the department with good equipment and apparatus over the years. This has enabled the fire department to improve its ISO insurance rating classification to a Class 4.
Many changes have taken place since the early horse-drawn apparatus days, however, firefighters will continue to be the first to respond to emergencies, whether they be fires, industrial accidents, emergency medical calls or natural disasters.