Brief Fire Department History Timeline

Brief chronological timeline of the history of the St. Louis Fire Department.

St. Louis Fire Department History:
Brief History Timeline

September 14, 1857

The City of St. Louis began operating as a paid, career fire department.

February 22, 1858

The Gamewell Fire Alarm System was installed.

February 25, 1858

The first alarm transmitted on the Gamewell Alarm Boxes was from box #116 at 4th and Franklin.

February 3, 1902

Seven firefighters were killed at the American Tent and Awning Company at 3rd and Chestnut.  This was the greatest  This was the greatest number of firefighters to be killed at a single fire.


A Locomobile Touring Car was the first automobile purchased for the Fire Chief.

July 27, 1910

The first piece of motorized apparatus was a 1910 Webb 700gpm Pumper.

May 21, 1921

The first African-American firefighter was appointed to the St. Louis Fire Department.

July 15, 1926     

The St. Louis Fire Department Training Academy was organized.

March 25, 1927

The St. Louis Fire Department became fully motorized.


Windshields and windshield wipers were installed on all 1st line apparatus.

March 20, 1943

Fire Chief Joseph Morgan was killed in the line of duty at 713 Howard St.

June 9, 1952

The first line of duty death of an AfricanAmerican.

January 24, 1958

The St. Louis Fire Department took control of Fire Protection at Lambert St. Louis Airport.


The first fire station without brass sliding poles was built.

January 1, 1977

The Gamewell system was discontinued, ending an era, which lasted almost 120 years.


The St. Louis Fire Department Honor Guard was organized.


The first of 30 new Quints begin to arrive in St. Louis.

August 28, 1987

Female Firefighters joined the ranks of the department.

February 15, 1989

The new Fire Department Headquarters building opened at 1421 N. Jefferson.

August 5, 1990

The new Training Tower opened on the lot behind headquarters.

August 27, 1994

The St. Louis Fire Department Memorial statue was dedicated.

August 14, 1995

The First Responder medical program started.

February 14, 1996

The St. Louis Fire Department promoted its first female to the rank of Fire Captain.

April 19, 1997

The City of St. Louis Emergency Medical Services was placed under the direction of the St. Louis Fire Department.

October 15, 1997

The AED program was established, placing defibrillators on all 1st line apparatus.

November 29, 1999

Sherman George became the first AfricanAmerican to be promoted to the position of Chief of the St. Louis Fire Department.


The Millennium Yearbook of the St. Louis Fire Department is released.


New fire apparatus arrive; including 2 Rescue Squads, a Haz-Mat Unit, a Mobile Air Supply Truck, and a fire boat that was christened the "Jack Buck

November 19, 2007

Dennis M. Jenkerson appointed Chief of the St. Louis Fire Department.

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