The first documented record of an organized Fire Brigade in Surrey was on May 3, 1898. It was for a large fire in Central Surrey (Cloverdale).
The Fire Brigades were community based, organized by volunteers with Stations in areas like Cloverdale, Whalley, and Crescent Beach.
It was not until 1952 that Surrey's first full-time Fire Chief was appointed, organizing the city as 1 Fire Department.
In 1956, Surrey purchased its first radio dispatch equipment.
Surrey’s fire districts were amalgamated into one Department in 1958 and the halls given numbers instead of district names. South Westminster Fire Hall became Surrey Fire Hall 1.
The first female municipal firefighters in British Columbia joined the Surrey Fire Service in 1960.
Over the years, the Surrey Fire Service has grown and added divisions/branches and specialty areas to meet the needs of the growing and dynamic community it serves. Our branches now include
- Administration division,
- Operations division,
- Fire Prevention branch,
- Fire Suppression branch,
- Training branch,
- Communications division,
- Mechanics division, and
- Support division.
The specialty areas are Hazardous Materials Response and Technical Rescue, which encompasses confined space and high angle rescue disciplines.
Medical or “Inhalator” responses to patients requiring medical attention started in the 1950’s.
(Photos courtesy of the Surrey Archives)