Providence Fire Department Historic Time Line

By Ernie Young

Fire Companies shown in Red
Line of Duty Deaths shown in Grey
Notable Fires and Disasters shown in Orange


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New Town of Providence
(1636-1759)
1636

Roger Williams establishes the town of Providence (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1647

A statute stating "the penalty for burning dwelling houses or barns having corn in them, willfully and maliciously, is determined to be a felony of death without remedy" is enacted as the first arson law. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1675

June 28th - Eight days after the outbreak of the King Phillip's War 18 outlaying houses are burned by Indians. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1676

March 29th - Led by Chief Canonchet, more than 24 houses are burned by the Narragansett Indians in the compact part of town. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1704

A statute banning the setting of fire "in the woods in any part of this colony on any time of the year, save between the tenth of March and the tenth of May annually nor on the first or seventh day of any week" under penalty of a thirty shilling fine, is enacted as the first fire prevention law. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1754 James Angell and Obediah Brown are appointed to evaluate and asses a tax on the dwellings and other property "in the compact part of the town of Providence which are liable to be destroyed by fire" in order to raise money to purchase a large water engine. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1755
1740 Newsham (Hallofflame.org, 2009)
Providence's
first fire engine a "Cheese wheel" built by Newsham and Ragg of London is placed in service and housed at the junction of North Main and South Main streets. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A statute directing every homeowner in the "compact part of the town" to acquire within three months' time "two good leather buckets" to carry water to the new fire engine is enacted. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1758 December 24th - Fire destroys the Colony House on Meeting street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Presidents and Firewards
(1759-1838)
1759

The General Assembly passes "an act providing in case of fire breaking out in the town of Providence, for the more speedy extinguishing (of the) same, and preserving goods endangered thereby" appointing three "presidents of the firewards" to form policies and give "directions for the pulling down or blowing up" of houses "for preventing the spread of the fire" and also appointing "fire constables" (later called "firewards") with red painted speaking trumpets to direct the firefighting efforts. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1760

(ingenious.org.uk)
Engine Company No. 1 is formed with the appointment of eighteen volunteer "enginemen" to operate the "downtown engine", a second and larger Newsham and Ragg fire engine purchased in Boston to replace the first. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1763

Niagara Engine Company No. 2, the "uptown engine" is formed with the purchase of a 3rd Newsham and Ragg fire engine and stationed near the foot of Smith Street.

June - Engine Men are first appointed by the town. (C. White, 1886)

1771

Providence creates "ten rules and regulations to be observed by the inhabitants in cases of fire" including that "If fire be cried by night let every family immediately put candles in their windows next to the street" to light the way as well a the creation of a building committee to pull down houses threatened by fire and a goods committee to remove goods from these buildings. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1772

Union Engine Company No.3 is formed with the purchase of a fire engine manufactured by Providence craftsman Daniel Jackson and stationed on Weybosset Neck at a location called Muddy Dock. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June 9th- A Band of Providence merchants and mariners led by Captain Abraham Whipple and John Brown rowed down the bay to Namquid Point (Gaspee Point) in Warwick to board and set fire to the stranded British customs sloop the Gaspee. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1775 March 2nd- Providence rebels protesting the British Tea Act of 1773 set fire to 300 pounds of tea in Market Square. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1776 Following the ravages of battle and enemy occupation of Newport during the revolutionary war, Providence emerges as the new state's major municipality. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1785 The Amicable Fire Society is formed to assist and supplement the efforts of the "goods committee" in removing property from it's members buildings threatened by fire as well as for social purposes. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1786 The United Fire Society is formed to assist and supplement the efforts of the "goods committee" in removing property from it's members buildings threatened by fire as well. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1790 Providence population reaches 6,380. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1791 Gazelle Engine Company No.4 is formed with the purchase of another fire engine manufactured by Providence craftsman Daniel Jackson and stationed on Benefit Street near Wickendon Street in Fox Point. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1792 Engine Company No. 1 is located on North Main Street opposite the First Baptist Church. (C. White, 1886)

Engine Company No. 2 is located on the south end of Benefit Street. (C. White, 1886)

Engine Company No. 3 is located on the north end of Benefit Street. (C. White, 1886)

Engine Company No. 4 is located on the corner of Weybosset and Dorrance Streets. (C. White, 1886)

1798 Phenix Engine Company No.5 is formed with the purchase of a fire engine manufactured by Samuel Hamlin of Providence and stationed near Hoyle Square and adopts the motto "Mid the Raging Flames the Fire King Reigns". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1800 Providence population is 7,614. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence fire service consists of 3 Presidents, 17 Firewards, 60 Enginemen, a 5 member goods committee, and a 9 member building-removal committee. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1801 January 21st- The Great Blaze of 1801, originating in the loft of a waterfront warehouse owned by John Corliss, destroys 37 buildings causing property damage of $300,000 a sum equal to 10% of the town's taxable property. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new set of Fire Rules and Regulations is issued reorganizing the fire service and it's operational procedures "in cases of FIRE" including a system of alarm and that the number of house and ship carpenters be increased to 30 and "have the care of the fire-hooks, ropes, ladders, axes, saws, crow-bars and shovels, and immediately convey them to the fire". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1805 The Presidents and Firewards require ladders and axes to be standard equipment on all fire engines. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1809 Niagara Engine Company No. 2 receives a new Thayer hand pumper. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1812 The War of 1812 brings fear of attack and hardship to the commerce Providence. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1814 3 Firewardens are assigned to supervise each engine company. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June 13th - The twin-spired First Congressional Church and other buildings on the corner of Benefit and Benelovent Streets are destroyed by arson fire causing a loss of $40,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Eagle Engine Company No.6 is formed with the purchase on a new Thayer hand pumper and stationed in the village of Olneyville. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Leather Bucket (antiquesandthearts.com, 2009)
Each householder is required to "keep two good leather buckets, containing at least two gallons each, with the owners name painted large thereon" under penalty of a 5 dollar fine. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1815 September - The Great Gale of September 1815 heavily damages the city's waterfront. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1816 Excelsior Engine Company No. 3 receives a new Thayer hand pumper. (renamed Independance in 1825, sold in 1845) (Handtubs.com, 2005)
1819 The Panic of 1819 brings economic hardship to the city. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1820 Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 is formed as the department's first ladder company. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1822 Each fireman is "required to wear a uniform badge bearing the number of the engine to which attached, that such may be distinguished from other citizens in time of fire". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The right to vote is taken away from the city's African-American citizens representing almost 7% of the population. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Stationed on the north end of Exchange Street, Hydraulion Hand Engine No. 1 a Sellers and Pennock fire engine is put into service and is the first suction engine introduced into the fire service in the country.(C. White, 1886)

1823 Engine Company No. 1 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper. (sold in 1852) (Handtubs.com, 2005)
1824 Ocean Engine Company No. 7 "Blue Pointer #7" is formed with the purchase of a Hunneman hand tub and stationed on Chestnut Street. (Handtubs.com, 2005)

A minor race riot takes place in the African-American community of Hard Scrabble (present day Moshassuck Square) causing no deaths and moderate damage, but brought to light the need to address racial issues and the need for governmental and law reform. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1825 The Board of Firewards is formed and permitted to "purchase such new engines and necessary apparatus as they may think proper and expedient for the use of the town" without the need for Town Meeting approval. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Canopus No. 1 Company is formed to maintain the stationary forcing engines or pumps located on the east side of the Providence River and stationed on Benefit near College Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Invincible No. 2 Company is formed to maintain the stationary pumps located on the west side of the river and stationed on Middle Street near Dorrance. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Charlestown MA, Hancock #128, 1828 Hunneman (Handtubs.com, 2005)
Excelsior Engine Company No. 3 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper. (sold in 1845 to west coast, lost in shipwreck in Hunolulu Harbor, salvaged and employed by Chinese merchant.) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Fire King Engine Company No. 5 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper. (After sale renamed Tuscatucket, then Eagle and in 1973 purchased by Greenwood VFA in RI) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

May 23rd - The First Universalist Church and 20 other buildings on Westminster and Union Streets are destroyed by fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1826 The Furniture and Goods Protecting Company is formed as a public agency to assist in the removal of property and goods from buildings threatened by fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1827 Hook and Ladder Company No. 2 is formed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1828 March 20th - South Main Street Fire, volunteer fireman Joshua Weaver is killed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence Association of Firemen for Mutual Assistance is incorporated to aid injured firefighters and to pay benefits to the families of those who may loose their lives. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence School Law is enacted segregating the city's African-American students. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1831 September - A 4 day race riot takes place between white sailors and the African-American citizens of Olney's Lane in which 5 men died. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1832 Providence becomes a city with a mayor-council system of government. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hydraulion No. 2 Company is formed with the purchase of a second Sellers and Pennock suction pumper and stationed on Canal Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 1, the original 1763 "downtown" Market Square engine company is disbanded. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Eagle Engine Company No. 6 through it's proficiency, assumes the designation Eagle Engine Company No. 1. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ocean Engine Company No. 7 is relocated to Field Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence fire service now consists of 5 Presidents, 26 Firewards and 500 Firemen assigned to 7 Engine Companies, 2 Forcing Stationary Engine Companies, 2 Hook and Ladder Companies and 2 Hydraulion Companies and manning 10 Station Houses, 8 Hand Engines, 12 Forcing Stationary Engines, 2 Hydraulions, 2 Hose Wagons and 4,955 feet of hose. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1834 Water Witch Engine Company No. 6 called "the Sixes", with a gooseneck pumper built by James Smith of New York is formed with a corporate charter from the General Assembly and stationed at Benefit and College boasting the motto "Actuated by Benevolence, Impelled by Emulation." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1835 The Board of Firewards report that the pumping capacity for water flow in the city is 800 gallons per minute in the compact section, 500 gallons per minute in the remote sections and 300 gallons per minute in the outlaying areas. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The first annual Firemen's Parade is held. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Manufacturer's Mutual Fire Insurance Company is formed by Zachariah Allen to assist mill owners with fire insurance costs by creating a rating system according to fire protection measures taken. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A railroad line from Boston to Providence is completed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ocean Engine Company No. 7 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper. (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Eagle Engine Company No. 1 is located at the foot of Bennett Hill, Olneyvile. (C. White, 1886)

Engine Company No. 2 is located at the junction of North Main and Stampers Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Union Engine Company No. 3 is located at the corner of Weybosset and Dorrance Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Gazelle Engine Company No. 4 is located on Transit Street between North Main and Benefit Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Phoenix Engine Company No. 5 is located on Summer Street. (C. White, 1886)

Water Witch Engine Company No. 6 is located on the corner of College and Benefit Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Ocean Engine Company No. 7 is located on Field Street, Eddy's Point. (C. White, 1886)

Hydraulion Company No. 1 is located on Hydraulion Street (Exchange Street). (C. White, 1886)

Hydraulion Company No. 2 is located by the First Canal Lock. (C. White, 1886)

Forcing Pump No. 1 is located on Middle Street. (C. White, 1886)

Forcing Pump No. 2 is located on corner of Benefit and College Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Old Engine is located at Steven's Bridge, Stevens Street. (C. White, 1886)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 is located on Corner of Benefit and College Streets. (C. White, 1886)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 is located on Union Street. (C. White, 1886)

1836 Pioneer Engine Company No. 8 is chartered and stationed at Benefit and Transit. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Gazelle Engine Company No. 4 of Fox Point purchases 2 small fireboats. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

2 stationary steam powered rotary pumps are placed in service. One at the Steam Mill on Ship Street near Eddy's Point and another at Howell's Mill at present day Moshassuck Square. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The first hydrant is installed in the city when the Board of Firewards receives permission from the Field's Fountain Company to tap into the wooden pipe system that services it's West Side customers to install "fire plugs" that can be removed to provide water for firefighting. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The fire department consists of the following companies (C. White, 1886)

Eagle Engine Company No. 1
Niagara Engine Company No. 2
Union Engine Company No. 3
Gazelle Engine Company No. 4
Phenix Fire King Engine Company No. 5
Water Witch Engine Company No. 6
Ocean Engine Company No. 7
Pioneer Engine Company No. 8
Gaspee Engine Company No. 9
Rotary Engine, Steam Mill, Eddys Point Company
Always Ready Hydraulion Company No. 1
Hydraulion Company No. 2
Canopus Stationary Engine Company No. 1
Invincible Stationary Engine Company No. 2
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1
Hook and Ladder Company No. 2
Invincible No. 2 Company

1837 Providence Engine Company No. 9 is incorporated, Sylvester Harris, Captain. (C. White, 1886)

Quincy IL, 1839 Smith (Missvalley.com, 2009)
Pioneer Engine Company No. 8 receives a new Smith gooseneck pumper and station house following a suspicious fire that destroys the existing station and pumper. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A rail line to Stonington is completed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 16th - South Main Street four-story hardware and paint store fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Engineer Henry G. Mumford
(1838-1838)
1838 The Board of Firewards establishes the positions of Chief Engineer and 2 Assistant Engineers "to direct the department and apparatus at fires". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Henry G. Mumford is chosen as Chief Engineer only to resign after a month to assume a position as an Assistant Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Engineer Smith Bosworth
(1838-1839)
1838 Smith Bosworth succeeds as Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Gaspee Engine Company No. 9 stationed at Carpenter Street (later moving to Pallas Street) is incorporated. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Engineer Allen Peck
(1839-1840)
1839 Alan Peck is named as new Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ocean Engine Company No. 7 is relocated to Richmond Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Engineer Henry G Mumford
(1840-1841)
1840 Henry G Mumford is named as new Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Phenix Engine Company No. 5 (Fire King) is relocated to Summer Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Standing Committee and Firewards
(1841-1853)
1841 The administrative positions of Chief Engineer and Assistant Engineers are abandoned by the city. The City Council attempts to gain greater supervision over the volunteer firemen by establishing a Standing Committee on the Fire Department consisting of 3 members of the Common Council and 1 member of the Board of Aldermen. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1842 The Dorr Rebellion, a 2 year confrontation between the People's party led by Thomas Wilson Dorr and the Law and Order party regarding the voting privileges of non-land holding citizens, begins with Dorr stating the origins as "it was got up, as I have been informed and believe, by the firemen and the mechanics of Providence, who deemed themselves as well qualified to vote for their rulers as to do their work and to protect them from conflagration." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The conservative state legislature increases by double the authorized strength of the Providence Fire Department to 1200 men. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1843 Water Witch Engine Company No. 6 becomes the first company to adopt a uniform. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1844 October 25th - Dorrance Street Theatre Fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Lynn MA, Atlantic #7, 1845 Hunneman (Handtubs.com, 2005)
Fire King Engine Company No. 5 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper (sold in 1869) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

1846 Pioneer Engine Company No. 8, denied the new greater capacity New York hose by the Firewards and embarrassed by being overrun by water and "washed out" by other New York hose equipped pumpers during a first in fire, officially refuse to "receive water from any machine, nor supply any that use the New York hose" prompting their dismissal from city service. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Whatcheer Fire Company No. 8 is formed to replace the Pioneer Engine Company and assume their gooseneck pumper and station house on Benefit and Transit. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 1st - Fuller's Machine Shop fire, Point Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1847 Pioneer Engine Company, still organized under charter and denied re-admission to city service, begins to operate as an independent company separate from the city stationed at 166-68 South Main Street and purchases an engine with money raised through social events and donations. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Atlantic Engine Company No. 10 is chartered (initially named Hope) and stationed on Knight Street on Federal Hill. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Lowell MA, Merrimack #4, 1847 Hunneman (Handtubs.com, 2005)
Ocean Engine Company No. 7 receives a new Hunneman hand pumper. (sold in 1854) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

1848 The Firewards vote to pay each engine company Steward $60 per year for record keeping and a Superintendant of Repairs $800 per year to maintain the department's property and apparatus. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1849 The Firewards vote to pay a cash stipend in lieu of refreshments being served for all engine companies engaged at a fire of more than 1 hour duration. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Firewards in order to prevent the dissolution of Hook and Ladder Company No. 2 authorize a $15 per year salary to each of its 15 members. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Gaspee Engine Company No. 9 acquires the new and soon to be famous "Gaspee No. 9" fire engine built by William Jeffers of Pawtucket. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

November 20th - Anna Jenkins House historic mansion on Benefit and John Streets is destroyed by fire and two are killed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1850 September 4th - Tallman and Bucklin's Planing Works, Dyer Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1851 Pioneer Engine Company is re-admitted to city service as Pioneer Engine Company No. 11. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Eagle Engine Company No. 1 is located in Olneyville. (C. White, 1886)
Niagara Engine Company No. 2 is located on North Main Street. (C. White, 1886)
Union Engine Company No. 3 is located on Page Stree. (C. White, 1886)
Gazelle Engine Company No. 4 is located on Benefit Street. (C. White, 1886)
Fire King Engine Company No. 5 is located on Summer Street. (C. White, 1886)
Water Witch Engine Company No. 6 is located on the corner of College and Benefit Streets. (C. White, 1886)
Ocean Engine Company No 7 is located on Richmond Street. (C. White, 1886)
What Cheer Engine Company No. 8 is located on Benefit Street. (C. White, 1886)
Gaspee Engine Company No. 9 is located on Carpenter Street. (C. White, 1886)
Atlantic Engine Company No. 10 is located on Codding Street. (C. White, 1886)
Pioneer Engine Company No. 11 is located on South Main Street. (C. White, 1886)
Hydraulion Company No. 1 is located on Exchange Street. (C. White, 1886)
Hydraulion Company No. 2 is located on Old Jail Lot. (C. White, 1886)
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 located on College and Benefit is disbanded. (C. White, 1886)
Hook and Ladder Company No. 2 is located on Richmond Street. (C. White, 1886)
Rotary Engine 1 is located in Steam Mill. (C. White, 1886)
Rotary Engine 2 is located in Fletcher's Mill. (C. White, 1886)

Whatcheer Fire Company No. 8 is disbanded. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Grafton MA, 1852 Howard & Davis (Hallofflame.org, 2009)
Atlantic Engine Company No. 10 receives a new Howard & Davis hand tub fire engine. (sold in 1864) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

August 5th - Mill Street Fire, Cleveland's Turning Establishment and 14 other buildings burned. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 13th - Richmond Street Free Congregational Church and adjoining buildings are destroyed by fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1852 Water Witch Company No. 6 is relocated to a new station on the corner of Benefit and College streets. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

August- Firemen quickly force the repeal of a March ordinance giving the council greater financial supervision over the department and banning several volunteer practices that violated good order. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October - Phenix (Fire King) Engine Company No. 5 is disbanded by the Firewards "for refusing to do duty". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 23rd - Almy's Waste House Canal Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1853 Eagle Engine Company No. 1 of Olneyville has it's engine confiscated by the city "in consequence of disturbances there at fires". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

February 13th - Building on Eddy Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

May 13th - Gile's Factory on Atwells Avenue fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June- The General Assembly passes an enabling act conferring upon the City Council broad powers to legislate in fire department affairs. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Engineer Joseph W. Taylor
(1853-1854)
1853
July- The City Council passes an ordinance replacing the Firewards with a chief engineer and 6 assistants constituting a Board of Engineers to govern the fire service with the advice of the Standing Committee on the Fire Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Joseph W. Taylor is named Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 11th- Several Engine Companies, fed by free liquor from local shop owners, and an angered view of Catholics and Irish newcomers, began to fight during a fire in the Arnold block on North Main Street resulting in the death of an Irish Catholic non-member, paid teamster for Gaspee No. 9, Neal Dougherty. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 26th - Howard Block on Westminster Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1854

Zachariah Allen writes regarding the situation with the volunteer firemen

"The abuses complained of have originated from the disproportionate number of the youthful and imprudent members of the fire-engine companies who have taken the places deserted by the older, wealthier, and more sedate citizens... Disinclined to social hilarity, to arraying themselves in uniform, and to joyous excursions abroad, and annual meetings at home, the older members have left the management of the operations for extinguishing fires in the hands of the youthful and imprudent. Under these circumstances, it is not a matter of surprise that frequent excitements and excesses should have occurred, originating from the maddening impulse of stimulating drinks which have been injudiciously distributed by those having property endangered near the scenes of conflagration.
The time has now arrived when the reorganization of a new system must be forthwith adopted. It has become an absolute necessity that the most respectable and wealthy citizens most enroll themselves as formerly, and take into their own hands the charge of protecting their own property. Or if they choose to continue to remain quietly in their beds, they must pay an adequate number of men for their services to work for them...
It must be far pleasanter to every generous mind, to pay an equivalent in taxes, for the services of the workingmen of the city in extinguishing fires, than to feel the weight of obligation for an undefined debt of gratitude. Embarrassed by this sense of gratitude for unrequited services of the firemen, the City Council have made numerous grants of large sums for their gratification, amounting to nearly fifty thousand dollars in two years, in the purchase of new and fanciful fire-engines, new and spacious halls, resembling European club-houses, decorated with curtains, mirrors, chandeliers, gildings and paintings etc. These appropriations have been profitlessly - not to say demoralizingly and perniciously - wasted for the purpose of sustaining the unpaid system, which has consequently been a costly one.
Where there is no reward for obeying orders, and no penalty for disobeying them, there can be no regular discipline in the organization of the members of the Fire Department, and no certain reliance on their cooperation. They individually are independent of control, and feel themselves to be at liberty to stop to dispute about a precedency of position, or to fight whilst a conflagration is raging.
The old system being actually disorganized, it now remains to carry into effect, energetically, the system of a Paid Fire Department." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

January 25th- City Council adopts a resolution abolishing the volunteer system. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


The Paid Force
Chief Joseph W. Taylor
(1854-1859)
1854 March 1st- The Providence City Council passes an ordinance creating a paid fire service of not more than 450 firemen overseen by a Chief Engineer and 5 Assistant Engineers making up a Board of Engineers. The Department is scaled down to 11 hand-engine companies, and 1 hook and ladder company with a total compliment of 432 men. Each company has a Foreman appointed by the Board of Engineers receiving an annual salary of $125, with the elected positions of Assistant Foreman, Stewards and Clerks receiving $100 per year voted on by the Enginemen who receive $75 per year. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Joseph Taylor remains Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Always Ready Hydraulion Company No. 1 is renamed Always Ready Engine Company No. 1 with the sale of it's Hydraulion unit and the dissolution of Olneyville's Eagle Engine Company No. 1. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hydraulion No. 2 is renamed Columbia Hand Engine Company No. 12 with the sale of it's Hydraulion unit and located on Haymarket Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Niagara Engine Company No. 2 receives a new Button hand pumper. (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Hydraulion Hand Engine No. 1 is located on Exchange Street with a Button Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Niagara Hand Engine Company No. 2 is located on Mill Street with a 1854 Button Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Union Hand Engine Company No. 3 is located on Page Street with a Button Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Gazelle Hand Engine Company No. 4 is located on Wickendon Street with a Smith Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Fire King Hand Engine Company No. 5 is located on Summer Street with a Hunneman Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Water Witch Hand Engine Company No. 6 is located on Benefit Street with a Smith Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Ocean Hand Engine Company No. 7 is located on Richmond Street with a Hunneman Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Gaspee Hand Engine Company No. 9 is located on Carpenter Street with a Jeffers Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Atlantic Hand Engine Company No. 10 is located on Knight Street with a Howard & Davis Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Pioneer Hand Engine Company No. 11 is located on South Main Street with a Smith Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Columbia Hand Engine Company No. 12 is located on Haymarket Street with a Button Hand Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 is located on Richmond Street. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

October 1st - Lumber Yard Fox Point fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1855

January 5th - Roger Williams Free Baptist Church, Burgess Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Taylor reports a 400% decrease in the amount of real and personal property lost by fire in the first year of the paid force. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1856

The Department's first hose wagon is established. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 9 is relocated to the new station at 4 Pallas Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

New London CT, 1855 Button (Hallofflame.org, 2009)
Gazelle Engine Company No. 4 receives a new Button hand tub fire engine (Currently on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

April 30th - India Rubber Works, Dorrance Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1857

January 11th - Dean Steam Planning Works Dorrance Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

March 14th - Grace Church corner of Westminster and Mathewson Streets fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

July 1st - An alarm was sounded to bring the department together to suppress a row among Irishmen at Fox Point. (C.White, 1886)

October 9th - Hayward's India Rubber Works and Hope Iron Foundry, five buildings at corner of Clifford and Eddy Streets. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Department's first hose wagon is disbanded. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1858

Atlantic Engine Company No. 10 receives a new Button hand pumper. (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Columbia Engine Company No. 12 receives a new Button hand pumper. (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Engine Company No. 1 receives a new Button hand pumper (Handtubs.com, 2005)

Union Engine Company No. 3 receives a new Button hand pumper (later sold to Woonsocket) (Handtubs.com, 2005)

November 15th - Howard Block Dorrance Street fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Thomas Aldrich
(1859-1862)
1859

Thomas Aldrich is elected Chief Engineer of Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1857-1860 Silsby steam fire engine (engine3.org, 2009)
September 9th - Engine Company No. 1 is renamed Steam Engine Company No. 1 with the purchase of the city's first steamer, a $3500 rotary 1st class steam pumper manufactured by the Silsby Manufacturing Company of Seneca Falls, New York. This is pumper build #3 to be manufactured and sold by Silsby. (www.engine3.org; Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Horses and drivers are hired to pull the new steam engines. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Columbia Hand Engine Company No.12 is renamed Steam Engine Company No. 2 with the purchase of a $3500 single-acting piston engine from Reanie and Neafie. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1860

Engine Company No. 11 is disbanded. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Phenix Fire King Steam Engine Company No. 5 is renamed Fire King Steam Engine Company No. 3 with the purchase of a second Silsby rotary 2nd class steam engine build #4 and is stationed on Summer Street. Captained by Oliver E. Greene the company keeps the motto "Mid the Raging Flames the Fire King Reigns". (www.engine3.org; Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A modern telegraph fire alarm system is established and hailed as "doing all that was promised or expected by it's originators- giving rapid information to firemen whenever their services are required. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

September 2nd - The first alarm through the old system was given through the new telegraph boxes. (C.White, 1886)

1861 A 1st class steam pumper build #5 and a 3rd class steam pumper build #6 are purchased from Silsby. (www.engine3.org)

Chief Charles H. Dunham
(1862-1865)
1862 Charles H Dunham becomes Chief Engineer of the Fire Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1863

A new Silsby 1st class rotary steam pumper build #7 is purchased and stationed on Haymarket Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 2 is formed with the purchase of a truck built by Moulton and Remington of Providence and stationed on Haymarket Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1864

The Armory Hose Company a volunteer group composed of employees of the Providence Tool Company is formed "to render service whenever a fire occurs near their premises" on Wickendon Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hostlers (groomers of horses) are hired by the department for each steam engine company. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Dexter Gorton
(1865-1869)
1865

Dexter Gorton succeeds the ailing Dunham as Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Oliver E. Greene is appointed 2nd Assistant Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The first horse is bought for the department. (C.White, 1886)

The Providence Fire Department constists of 4 hand steamers, 5 hand engines and 2 ladder trucks (1 horse) (C.White, 1886)

April 9th - An alarm is sounded for a bon-fire, celebrating Lee's surrender (C.White, 1886)

1866 A new 1st class steam engine #115 is purchased from Silsby.
1867

4 new steam engines are purchased from 2 Pawtucket manufacturers, William Jeffers and Cole and Brothers completing the departments transition to steam. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

2 new hook and ladder trucks are purchased. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 3 is formed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

New fire stations are built on South Main, Benevolent, and Richmond Streets. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The North Main street station is built on 653 North Main Street to house Engine Company No 17. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

March 30th - Atlantic Engine Company No. 10 is renamed Atlantic Steam Engine Company No. 8, with the purchase of a new steam engine and stationed at the new Harrison Street station. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1868

The number of Assistant Engineers is reduced to 2 and the honorary title of President of the Firewards is abolished. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Washington Park, Elmwood, West Elmwood and most of South Providence are annexed from Cranston. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Oliver E. Greene
(1869-1884)
1869

Oliver E. Greene becomes Chief Engineer (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The department is staffed with 117 firemen (24 permanent and 93 on call) (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1870

The Gamewell Fire Alarm System is adopted with 50 street boxes installed throughout the City. (C.White, 1886)

September 20th- Steam Engine Company No. 6, a Jeffers engine explodes en route to a fire on East Street, killing a bystander and Assistant Engineman John H. McLane indirectly. (C. White, 1886)

December 10th - Box 32 pulled at 8:20 pm for Vaughn's coffee and spice mill on Dorrance Street is the first box alarm pulled in the city. (C.White, 1886)

1871

A 51 million gallon reservoir is completed in Cranston on Sockanosset Hill at an elevation of 180 feet and water is pumped from the Pawtuxet River in the Pettaconsett section of Cranston into Providence through 30 miles of newly laid iron pipe. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Green introduces the Providence Fire Department's distinctive badge. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new 2nd class steam pumper build #274 is purchased from Silsby (www.engine3.org)

1872

The first permanent hose company, Hose Company No. 4 is established (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new 2nd class Silsby steam pumper #335 is purchased. (www.engine3.org)

Providence Engine 3, 1872 Silsby (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Fire King Steam Engine Company No. 3 receives a new Silsby 1st class rotary steam engine #336. (www.engine3.org)

Thangsgiving day - Pawtuxet water is introduced to the city.(C. White, 1886)

1873 Babcock hand fire extinguishers are introduced to the department.
1874

The North End, Wanskuck, Eagle Park, Elmhurst, Mount Pleasant and Manton are annexed from North Providence. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A city sewer network is established (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Winter - A central fire station is constructed at the east end of Exchange Place and to house Hose Company No.1, Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, and the office of the Chief Engineer. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1875

Protective Company No. 1 "the fire insurance brigade" consisting of "oil-cloth coverings, chemical machines for the extinguishment of incipient fires, and other paraphernalia required by the service, with a suitable wagon for carrying the same, the expense of which is borne in part by the City and part by the Providence Board of (Insurance) Underwriters" is created to protect goods from damage by water and other threatening injuries and housed in the central fire station on Exchange Place. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Fire King Steam Engine Company No. 3 is relocated to Pond Street and transformed into Hose Company No. 3. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A 2nd reservoir, the Hope Reservoir and pumping station is competed on Hope Street in order to supplement water storage the city's new water system. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 receives a new Skinner extension ladder truck built by George Skinner of New York, with an apparatus mounted aerial ladder capable of reaching 100 feet. The truck is dubbed the "Blue Pointer". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Wickendon Street station is constructed on the corner of Wickendon and Traverse Street at the site of the old Gazelle Engine Company No. 4 station, housing Hose Company No. 15 and Hook and Ladder Company No. 4 both Moulton and Remington built apparatus. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Central Street station is constructed near Hoyle Square housing Good Will Hose Company No. 13. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The members of the Providence Fire Department are uniformed with nickel button suits. (C. White, 1886)

1877 September 27th- A conflagration destroys the four-story factory of C. W. Jenckes and 3 other buildings on Custom House Street near Pine causing property loss of $500,000 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1878

November 14th - City Hall is dedicated. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Putnam Street station is constructed on 106 Putnam Street (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1881

A department telephone communication system is established among the city's fire stations. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence Veteran Firemen's Association is founded in order to collect "for permanent preservation all records, papers, documents, legends, memorials, and relics relating or pertaining to the volunteer or paid department of the city". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

April 16th - Members of the department are given 2 days of each month for slight recreation. (C. White, 1886)

The office of Fire Marshal is created with Elias M. Jencks appointed. (C. White, 1886)

September 6th - Captain Edwin R. Capron of Hose 3 died. (C. White, 1886)

October 11th - Captain Charles A. Tucker of Hose Company No. 7 died. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. He resigned his position prior to his sickness. (C. White, 1886)

1882

Sliding poles and hanging harnesses for the horse teams are introduced to the department. (C. White, 1886)

Future Chief of Department Reuben Weeks becomes a hoseman for Hose Company No. 4.

A Babcock Fire Extinguishing Company of Chicago chemical engine is placed in service with Hose Company No. 6 on Benevolent Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A 2nd Babcock chemical engine is placed in service with Hose Company No. 7 on Richmond Street (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The position of Deputy Chief Engineer is created and filled by George A. Steere (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

November 21st- A fire in a four-story brick factory kills 4 factory workers and injures many more who jump to safety. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 7th - Captain Philip C. Gray of Hose Company No. 6 died. (C. White, 1886)

1883

January 6th - Daniel W. Brown is killed.(C. White, 1886)

The position of Superintendent of Fire Alarm Telegraph is created and filled by Charles G. Cloudman. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

April 1st - Every company in the department is supplied with a permanent captain. (C. White, 1886)

October 4th- Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, a Skinner extension ladder named "Blue Pointer", snaps while extended over 90 feet dropping and killing Second Ladderman Alexander J. McDonald. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief George A. Steere
(1884-1909)
1884

January 5th - Ex-Assistant Engineer Wiliam A. Sabin died. (C. White, 1886)

July 2nd- George A. Steere is appointed Chief Engineer of the Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 receives a new Hayes ladder truck built by the La France Company of Elmira, New York capable of reaching 85 feet with the use of a worm gear. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The department with an annual budget of $111,074, consists of a Board of Engineers, a Superintendent of Fire Alarm, 176 firemen (78 permanent and 98 on call), 43 horses, 1218 hydrants, 49 wells and cisterns, 130 signal boxes, 130 miles of wire and 18 telephones as well as: 5 steam engine companies; 10 hose companies; 1 private hose company; 2 chemical engine companies ; 1 protective company ; and 4 hook and ladder companies (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The steam engine roster at this time is (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
Niagara Steam Engine Company No. 5, a Cole Brothers engine on North Main Street
Atlantic Steam Engine Company No. 8, a Silsby engine on Harrison Street
Washington Steam Engine Company No. 10, a Silsby engine on Burnside Street
Stillman White Steam Engine Company No. 12, a Cole Brothers at Smith and Orms
Putnam Steam Engine Company No. 14, a Cole Brothers engine on Putnam Street

The owners of the Vaugh building adopt an automatic alarm which is set off by a certain degree of heat and sounds in the "Three One's" fire station. (C. White, 1886)

October 1st - The first pool table is introduced into the department and placed in the quarters of Hook and Ladder No. 1. (C. White, 1886)

1885

February 9th - Stephen Conroy, driver of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 2 died.(C. White, 1886)

The City Council abolishes the Board of Engineers and transfers the boards powers to the Chief Engineer and the council's Joint Standing Committee on the Fire Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Fire Department's annual budget is $150,000 with 96 permanent firemen (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

April 1st - Hook and Ladder Company No. 5 receives a new Roller-Frame City Service Ladder Truck. (R. Wilkinson, 1906)

August 16th- The Providence Firefighter Memorial, a bronze and granite monument designed by Frank Tingley of Providence is erected in the North Burial Ground is dedicated to those firemen who risk their lives to ensure the safety of Providence residents. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

September 1st - Hose Company No. 9' s hose wagon went into service in place of the hose cart. (C. White, 1886)

November 4th - Hose Company No. 4's hose wagon went into service. (C. White, 1886)

1886

January 1st - The department consists of 96 Permanent men including officers, 110Call men, 46 horses, and 16 stations. (C.White, 1886)

Captain Charles E. White of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 publishes a 313-page illustrated history of the department entitled The Providence Fireman. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hose Company No. 9 is relocated from Pallas Street to a new station in Federal Hill on America Street and Atwells Avenue (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 6 is formed with the purchase of a new Hayes La France ladder truck and housed at the new Federal Hill station on America and Atwells. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

August 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th - The Chief Engineers Convention is held in Providence. (C. White, 1886)

1887

Captain Charles E. White of Hook and Ladder Company No.1 publishes the book Fire Service in Providence. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Providence Permanent Firemen's Relief Association is formed to provide death and disability benefits to full-time firefighters. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1888

February 15th- The Aldrich House Hotel on Washington Street and the entire city block surrounding it is destroyed by fire with a loss of $400,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

February 18th- The Theatre Comique on Weybosset Street is destroyed by fire with a loss of $100,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

February 19th- The Daniels and Cornell Building on Custom House Street is destroyed by fire with a loss of $175,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1889 A 3rd "High Service" reservoir with an elevation of 274 feet is created in the Fruit Hill Section of North Providence to sustain the higher elevation hydrants in the city. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1890

The City Council provides the Chief Engineer position a 3 year term. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new 3rd class steam pumper build #970 is purchased from Silsby (www.engine3.org)

December 5th- The Shepard Company department store on Westminster Street sustains $200,000 worth of damage from fire. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 13th- The J. B. Barnaby Company department store on Westminster and Dorrance is totally destroyed by fire at a loss of nearly $400,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1891

Protective Company No. 1 is relocated to Richmond Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new 3rd class steam pumper build #1000 is purchased from Silsby (www.engine3.org).

1892

Good Will Hose Company No. 13 receives a new hose wagon built by Lewis Falls of Providence. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

March 25th - What Cheer Hose Company No. 15 receives a new hose wagon. (R. Wilkinson)

September 1st - Hook and Ladder Company No. 6 receives a new Second Size Hayes 65ft Aerial Ladder Truck. (R. Wilkinson)

1893

A 65 foot high "Champion" water tower, able to flow 2000 gpm through it's elevated 2 inch deck nozzle, is purchased. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new 3rd class steam pumper build #2165 is purchased from Silsby (www.engine3.org).

Putnam Engine Company No. 14 with a 1893 3rd size La France steamer stationed on Putnam and Amherst streets. (R. Wilkinson)

1894 The Fire Department's annual budget is $304,000 with 215 permanent firemen. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1895

The Wickendon Street station is enlarged to accommodate a precinct of the police department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

February 27th- A 3 man commission is formed with the appointments of Stillman White (Chairman), William H. Luther, and former Chief Dexter Gorton and vested with complete control and management of the fire department, including the power to appoint and discharge all of its members, to purchase new apparatus, to sell the unserviceable equipment, and to fix the salaries of the firemen and officers subject to the approval of the City Council. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

November- An order is issued from the Commission forbidding any partisan political activity by firemen. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

November 30th- The first combination wagon (hose and chemical) is placed in service with Hose Company No. 18 stationed at the new Broad Street station on 1316 Broad Street (corner of Rugby Street).

1896

February 20th- The vacant Union Train Station on Exchange Place is gutted by fire with a loss of $50,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

March 19th- The original Masonic temple on Dorrance Street is destroyed by fire with a loss of $260,000. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1897

A separate "high service" hydrant system for the downtown section is completed delivering pressures of 90 to 120 psi and fed from the High Service Reservoir on Fruit Hill in North Providence with an elevation of 274 feet. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Niagara 5 is stationed on Olney Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1898

Hartford Park, most of Silver Lake and part of Olneyville are annexed from Johnston. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hose Company No. 19 and a Hook and Ladder Company are formed from the newly acquired Olneyville "Rough and Ready" Eagle No. 2 Hose and Ladder companies and stationed on the corner of Plainfield and Rye streets. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June 1st - Water Witch Hose Company No. 6 receives a new Combination Wagon. (R. Wilkinson)

1899

The last 14 call men in the fire department are phased out by being granted "an honorable discharge". (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The department consists of 248 permanent firemen, 88 horses, 33,222 feet of hose, 1783 regular hydrants, 92 high service hydrants, 351 fire alarm boxes and an annual budget of $345,807 as well as: 8 steam engine companies; 12 hose companies; 7 hook and ladder companies; and 1 protective company (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Firefighters are granted 1 day off in 5, making the shift 96 straight hours on-duty and 24 hours off-duty, with special permission from the Chief needed to leave the confines of the city. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1901

January- Captain Hiram D. Butts is killed in the line of duty when he is thrown from a hose wagon drawn by a pair of "green" horses and fractures his skull. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The commission establishes competitive civil service examinations as a basis for promotion. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Board of Commissioners approves the first pensioned retirement of a Providence fireman to Francis D. Chester of Engine Company No. 10. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

November - Union Hook and Ladder Company No. 3 receives a new Seagrave Trussed Ladder Truck. (R. Wilkinson)

1902

July- Joseph Devine of Good Will Hose Company No. 13 is killed fighting a fire on Dorrance Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Stillman White resigns as chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Fire Marshal Ira Winsor is appointed new chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

John B Chase Hook and Ladder Company No. 4 receives a new Seagrave Trussed City Service Ladder Truck. (R. Wilkinson, 1906)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 3 is relocated to the new Douglas Avenue station at 137 Douglas Avenue (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Laurel Hill Avenue station is built at 108 Laurel Hill Avenue to house Hook and Ladder Company No. 8 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1903

July- John E. Carlin is killed in the line of duty when he falls from hose wagon while responding to an alarm. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new central fire station is constructed on Exchange Place. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The General Assembly enacts a statute requiring the stationing of a fireman in a theatre at any time when an audience is present. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1904

April 22nd- A 3 alarm fire at the American Ship Windlass Company on Waterman and East River Streets delays the construction of several battleships for Teddy Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet" and causes $100,000 worth of damage. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

April 30th- Several employees are rescued from the top floors of a 3 alarm fire at the Anthony and Cowell furniture showrooms on Weybossett Street near Matthewson causes $330,000 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The department response totals for the year are 1.066 alarms with 8 third alarm fires and 2 general alarm fires. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1904

The central fire alarm is moved from City Hall to the 3rd floor of the Central Fire Station. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook and Ladder Company No. 5 is currently stationed on the corner of Public and Burnside Streets (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

(R. Wilkinson)
Hook and Ladder Company No. 9 recievs a new Seagrave Ladder Truck and is relocated to the new station on Mount Pleasant Avenue (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1905 (R. Wilkinson)
George A. Steere Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 receives a new first size Seagrave Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
1906

The set of Providence Fire Department postcards is printed by R. Wilkonson depicting 35 companies. (R. Wilkinson)

  • Pioneer Engine Company No. 2 stationed on South Main Street.
  • Fire King Hose Company No. 3 stationed on Pond Street.
  • Franklin Hose Company No. 4 is stationed on Mill Street.
  • Niagara Engine Company No. 5 stationed on corner of Olney and Hope Streets.
  • Water Witch Hose Company No. 6 with a 1898 Combination Wagon stationed on Benevolent Street.
  • Ocean Engine Company No. 7 stationed on Richmond Street.
  • Atlantic Engine Company No. 8 stationed on Harrison Street.
  • John W. Tillinghast Hose Company No. 9 stationed on corner of Atwells Avenue and America Street.
  • Washington Engine Company No. 10 stationed on corner of Burnside and Oxford Streets.
  • Elmwood Engine Company No. 11 stationed on Greenwich Street.
  • Good Will Engine Company No. 13 stationed on Central Street, receives a new first size La France steam engine.
  • Putnam Engine Company No. 14 with a 1893 3rd size La France steamer stationed on Putnam and Amherst streets.
  • What Cheer Engine Company No. 15 with a 1892 hose wagon stationed on Wickendon Street
  • Engine Company No. 16 with a 1906 2nd size Metropolitan steamer and hose wagon stationed on Branch Avenue and Charles Street.
  • Oliver Greene Engine Company No. 18 with a 1906 2nd size Metropolitan steamer and hose wagon stationed at Broad and Rugby streets.
  • Engine Company No. 19 stationed on corner of Plainfield and Rye Streets
  • Hose Company No. 20 with a 1899 combination hose wagon stationed on Manton Avenue
  • Hook and Ladder Company No. 2 stationed on Harrison Street
  • Union Hook and Ladder Company No. 3 with a 1901 Seagrave Trussed City Service Ladder Truck stationed on Douglas Avenue
  • John B. Chace Hook and Ladder Company No. 4 with a 1902 Seagrave Trussed City Service Ladder Truck stationed on Wickenden Street.
  • William H. Luther Hook and Ladder Company No. 5 with a 1885 Roller-Frame City Service Ladder Truck stationed on corners of Public and Burnside Streets.
  • Hook and Ladder Company No. 6 stationed on corners of Atwells and America Streets
  • Hook and Ladder Company No. 8 with a Seagrave Trussed Truck stationed on corner of Laban Street and Laurel Hill Avenue.
  • Hook and Ladder Company No. 9 stationed on Mount Pleasant Avenue
1907

January 24th- Captain George H. Noon dies from injuries sustained from a fall while fighting a fire at a South Water Street coal company. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October- An International Power Company of Providence built Amoskeag Class C steam pumper is purchased by the city and assigned to Steam Engine Company No. 5. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A new Seagrave Aerial Hook and Ladder Truck is purchased. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

2 new combination wagons built by John G. McIntosh and Son are purchased (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A 2nd new steamer is purchased. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1908

February 12th- An explosion leveling the four-story brick building at the starch works of Charles S. Tanner on South Water Street kills 5 people. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 26th- Ladderman Benjamin N. Brown dies from a broken neck sustained in a fall while fighting a fire at an Ashburton Street coffin factory. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1909 April- Chief Engineer of the Department, George Steere retires. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Holden O. Hill
(1909-1909)
1909

April- Holden Hill is appointed Chief Engineer of the Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June- The large bells used to sound the alarm of fire from each station are taken out of service. Station 7's bell on Richmond Street is sold to the city of Cranston for use in it's Eden Park School House. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

July- Chief Engineer of Department, Holden Hill retires. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Reuben D. Weeks
(1909-1921)
1909 July 1st- District Chief Reuben D. Weeks of Station 12 on Smith and Orms streets is promoted to Chief Engineer of the Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1911

The first piece of motorized apparatus, a La France, is placed in service with Protective Company No. 1 on Richmond Street (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

May 25th- Engine Company No. 14 on Putnam Street receives it's new motorized combination hose wagon built by the Knox Automobile Company of Springfield, MA. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

City Hall is modernized in order to fireproof all public records. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

John B. Chace Hook & Ladder Company No. 4 receives a new second size Seagrave Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

1912 May 7th- A $500,000 fire at the Revere Rubber Company kills 2 firefighters, Lieutenant Christopher Carpenter of Ladder Company No. 6 and Hoseman Harry H. Howe when an explosion causes the men to fall from Ladder Company No. 6's aerial ladder. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1913

January- Protective Company No. 1 is dissolved when the insurance companies that partially support it withdraw their funding. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hose Company No. 5 on Hope Street receives a Knox combination wagon. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hose Company No. 11 on Elmwood Avenue receives a new Knox combination wagon. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1915 Hook & Ladder Company No. 6 receives a new second size Combination Ladder Company Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)
1916

John Ihlder's report "The Houses of Providence" writes regarding the housing situation in Providence "more families have been provided for in three-deckers than in one and two family houses combined" citing a need for tougher building and fire codes. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 9th- This date, the 45th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, is observed as Fire Prevention Day. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 6 receives a new American LaFrance motor tractor for its Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

William H. Luther Hook & Ladder Company No. 5 receives a new American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Union Hook & Ladder Company No. 3 receives a new 1916 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 receives a new American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Niagara Engine Company No. 5 receives a 1916 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

1918

Hook & Ladder Company No. 7 receives a new American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 8 receives a new American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Providence Hose Company 1, 1918 American LaFrance (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Ira Winsor Hose Company No. 1, housed at Central Fire Station, Exchange Place receives a 1918 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Fire King Hose Company No. 3, housed on the corner of Franklin and Pond Streets receives a 1918 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hose Company No. 4, housed on Mill Street receives a 1918 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Water Witch Hose Company No. 6, housed on Benevolent Street receives a 1918 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

1919

The City's Fire Alarm System is relocated to a newly constructed fireproof building on Kinsley Ave. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The State General Assembly passes a statute requiring the installation of fire alarm boxes in every theater. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

An American LaFrance type 17 tractor is purchased to tow one of the departments older Seagrave ladder trucks. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Pioneer Engine Company No. 2 is housed on the corner of South Main and Coin Streets with a 1892 Lewis L. Fales Hose Wagon and a 1905 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Niagara Engine Company No. 5 is housed on the corner of Hope and Olney Streets. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Ocean Engine Company No. 7 is housed on Richmond Street with a 1895 Archibald Martin Combination Wagon and a 1905 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Atlantic Engine Company No. 8 is housed on Harrison Street with a 1912 Knox motor driven Combination Wagon and a 1896 American Fire Engine Co. Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

John W. Tillinghast Hose Company No. 9 is housed on the corner of Atwells Avenue and America Street with a 1914 Pope Manufacturing Co. Motor Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Washington Engine Company No. 10 is housed on the corner of Burnside and Oxford Streets with a 1916 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Elmwood Engine Company No. 11 is housed on Greenwich Street with a 1913 Knox motor Combination Wagin and a 1906 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Stillman White Engine Company No. 12 is housed on the junction of Smith and Orms Streets with a 1914 American LaFrance motor Combination Wagon and a 1906 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Good Will Engine Company No. 13 is housed on Central Street with a 1914 Knox motor Combination Wagon and a 1905 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Putnam Engine Company No. 14 is housed on the corner of Putnam and Amherst Streets with a 1911 Knox motor Combination Wagon and a 1907 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

What Cheer Hose Company No. 15 is housed on Wickendon Street with a Pope-Hartford motor Combination Wagon remodeled from horse drawn by John G McIntosh & Son in 1915. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Engine Company No. 16 is housed on the corner of Branch Avenue and Charles Street with a 1914 Autocar motor Combination Wagon and a 1906 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hose Company No. 17 is housed on the corner of North Main Street and Doyle Avenue with a 1912 Knox motor Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Oliver E. Greene Engine Company No. 18 is housed on the junction of Broad and Rugby Streets with a 1916 American LaFrance Triple Combination. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Engine Company No. 19 is housed on the corner of Plainfield and Rye Streets with a Pope-Hartford motor Combination Wagon remodeled from horse-drawn by John G. McIntosh & Son in 1915 and a 1906 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hose Company No. 20 is housed on Manton Avenue with a 1899 Archibald Martin Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Engine Company No. 21 is housed on the junction of Humbolt and Irving Avenues with a 1916 American LaFrance Triple Combination Wagon. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Engine Company No. 22 is housed on the junction of Point and Friendship Streets with a Pope-Hartford motor Combination Wagin remodeled from horse-drawn by John G. McIntosh & Sons in 1915 and a 1905 American LaFrance Engine. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

George A. Steere Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 is housed at Central Fire Station, Exchange Place with a 1905 first size Seagrave Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 is housed on Harrison Street with a 1916 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Union Hook & Ladder Company No. 3 is housed on Douglas Avenue with a 1916 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

John B. Chace Hook & Ladder Company No. 4 is housed on Wickendon Street with a 1911 second size Seagrave Aerial Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

William H. Luther Hook & Ladder Company No. 5 is housed on the corner of Public and Burnside Streets with a 1916 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 6 is housed on the corner of Atwells Avenue and America Street with a 1915 second size Combination Ladder Company Aerial Truck equipped with a 1916 American LaFrance motor tractor. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 7 is housed on the corner of Hope and Olney Streets with a 1918 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 8 is housed on the corner of Labin Street and Laurel Hill Avenue with a 1918 American LaFrance motorized City Service Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 9 is housed on the corner of Mount Pleasant Avenue and Dover Street with a 1904 Seagrave Truck. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

Hook & Ladder Company No. 10 is housed on the junction of Point and Friendship Streets. (W. Pelkey, 1919)

1920

Engine Company No. 14 receives a triple combination wagon. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 9th- The last pieces of horse drawn apparatus, Engine Company No. 2 and Engine Company No. 7, make their last run to box 146 on the corner of North Main and Market Square, activated by the mayor, in order to be issued their new motorized Knox combination wagons. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1921

January 31st- A building collapse during a fire in the Washington Bowling Alley on Matthewson Street kills 4 firefighters, Lt Michael J. Kiernan, Arthur Cooper, John J. Tague and Thomas Kelleher and critically injures 20 others. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Reube Weekes retires as Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief William F. Smith
(1921-1923)
1921

3rd Battalion Chief William F. Smith is promoted to Chief of Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Fire Department consists of 33 companies manned by 350 firefighters. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1922 Fire Prevention Day becomes recognized as a week of observance. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1923

Providence passes it's first zoning ordinance. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A 2 platoon system is established with each platoon working 3 -10 hour days and 3 -14 hour nights with 1/3 of each shift given one day off during the 6 day cycle. The firefighting force of the city is increased to 420 men. Firefighters still need special permission from the Chief of Department to leave the city on their off time. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief of Department William Smith retires. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Frank Charlesworth
(1923-1937)
1923 March 10th- Battalion Chief Frank Charlesworth is named Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1924 An American LaFrance type 17 tractor and 65' American Automatic water tower is purchased for the department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1925 The Fire Prevention Bureau is established as a branch of the Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1926 A 65 Foot Aerial Ladder truck is purchased and assigned to Ladder Company No. 1 out of the Central Street Station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1927

January 1st- City Council enacts a comprehensive building code. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Academy Avenue fire station is constructed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 8 on Harrison Street receives a new American LaFrance Metropolitan 1000gpm pumper (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1928 A training school along with drill tower and smoke house is constructed on Whitmarsh street adjacent to the Bucklin ball field. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1929

The Rochambeau Avenue fire station is constructed (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The State General Assembly passes a statute requiring the installation of fire alarm boxes in every school, hospital, asylum and orphanage. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The stock market's Great Crash occurs sending the country into an economic depression. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1930 The total firefighting personnel of the department is 489 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1931

February- A $500,000 fire destroys the State Pier No. 1 on Allens Avenue ending Providence's role as a major port of entry (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A Salvage Corps is established by the city fire department to "aid greatly in reducing incidental loss through prompt action in caring for the contents of burning buildings." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Following the great fire that destroyed State Pier No. 1, the City Council approves funding of $1000 for firefighting equipment to be placed on the harbor masters boat. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

April- The Republican controlled state legislature abolishes the City Council controlled Board of Fire Commissioners and establishes the state run Board of Public Safety to run the Providence Police and Fire Departments. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1933 Providence ranks first in the nation among municipalities in the 250,000 to 500,000 population category for lowest fire loss per capita. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1934

The Providence Governmental Research Bureau surveys the city and reports that the city has "more stations and companies than it needs, which has been a result of substituting motor-driven apparatus for horse-drawn apparatus without making due allowance for the increased area the motor-driven apparatus is capable of covering." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence ranks first in the nation among municipalities in the 250,000 to 500,000 population category for lowest fire loss per capita as well as grand prize for all American cities. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1935

January 1st- The Bloodless Revolution occurs when the Democratic controlled State Assembly abolishes the newly formed Board of Public Safety. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

June- The State Legislature creates the Bureau of Police and Fire, a three-man agency appointed by the mayor and given "full control over, and management of the Police and Fire Departments." (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Central Street Fire Station is closed (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company No. 1 is relocated to Richmond Street with Hose Company No. 7 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Hose Company No. 18 is currently stationed at Broad Street Station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1936

Providence ranks first in the nation among municipalities in the 250,000 to 500,000 population category for lowest fire loss per capita. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence's fire loss is recorded at 58.2 cents per capita. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1937

An 85 foot aerial ladder truck is purchased and assigned to Ladder Company No.1. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company No. 10 stationed at the Point Street Station receives Ladder Company No. 1's former 65 foot aerial ladder truck (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Charlesworth retires as Chief of Department in order to take job as State's first Fire Marshal (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief John H. Fischer
(1937-1937)
1937 Assistant Chief John H Fischer is promoted to Chief of Department and retires after 6 weeks. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
Chief Thomas H. Cotter
(1937-1951)
1937 Head of the department's training school, Thomas H Cotter is promoted to Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1938

A detail of Providence Firefighters is sent to New York City to train with their Rescue Units for 3 weeks (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

September 21 - The Great Hurricane of 1938 strikes Providence flooding downtown (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1939 World War II begins (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1940

January - the Point Street Grammar School fire causes $500,000 damage and injures 6 firefighters, the principle and 3 students (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company No. 1 and Engine Company No. 1 are relocated to the new LaSalle Square Headquarters Station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A 12 Man Diving Crew is formed (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1941

The 4 story brick Union Station freight office is destroyed by fire causing $150,000 in damage and injuring 6 firemen. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Department is reorganization reducing number of companies from 37 to 30. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1942

An Auxiliary Corp. of Fire Volunteers is activated to fill the ranks of firemen called into the armed service as part of the Civilian Defense Program. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Rescue Company 1 is formed, given a 1939 Chevrolet "Catastrophe Wagon" and stationed at LaSalle Square (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A Greater Providence Water Front Activities Committee is formed to protect against sabotage (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

October 4th - A 5 alarm fire destroys Infantry Hall causing $160,000 and injuring 2 firefighters (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

December 31 - Fire destroys the Liberty Ship steel fabricating plant at the new Rheem Shipyard on Field's Point causing $1,700,000 in damage. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company No. 1 receives a new American LaFrance 85' aerial truck (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Department consists of 21 hose companies, 10 ladder trucks and one water tower. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1944 Hose Company 20 currently stationed on Manton Avenue. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1945

Providence Firefighters Union is formed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Division of Training is formed and located on Central Street (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1947 Duty week of firefighters reduced from 84 hours to 68 and requirement for permission to leave town on of days and be on call for all 3 alarm fires was eliminated. The new schedule reduced the longest shift from 24 to 14 hours and gave 48 hours off every 10 days and added 18 positions to the department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1949 2 Rescue Boats are put into service (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1950

Engine Company No. 8 and Ladder Company No. 2 are relocated from Harrison Street to the new Messer Street station at 201 Messer Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 18 is relocated to the new Allens Avenue station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 9 is relocated to the new Brook Street station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1951

Ladder Company No. 6 is relocated to the new Atwells Avenue station at 630 Atwells Avenue. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company No. 17 and Ladder Company No. 9 are relocated to the new Branch Avenue Station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Thomas H. Cotter retires as Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief Lewis A. Marshall
(1951-1967)
1951 Chief Lewis A Marshall is promoted to Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1952 Ladder Company No. 4 is relocated from the Wickendon Street station to the new North Main Street station on the corner of North Main and Meeting. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Rescue Company 2 is formed and stationed at Messer Street (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company No. 9 located on Branch Avenue receives a new American LaFrance Foamite hydraulic powered 85' steel aerial truck. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence Engine 14, 1952 American LaFrance 700 (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company No. 8, Engine Company No. 9 and Engine Company No. 14 receive a new American LaFrance 700 series 750gpm cab forward pumper (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1953 September 22 - Tillinghast Plumbing Supply Company and 4 adjoining buildings burn at a cost of $300,000 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1954

August 31st - Hurricane Carol hits Providence causing extensive flooding of downtown and puts into service every piece of reserve and active apparatus in the city. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence Ladder 6, 1954 Seagrave (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Ladder Company No. 6 receives a new Seagrave 85' aerial ladder tiller truck. The truck is affectionately dubbed "The Big Apple" due to the shape of it's hood and large front warning light. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1955

Engine Company No. 6, Engine Company No. 7 and Ladder Company No. 4 are currently stationed at North Main Street. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Department restructured to a 3 platoon system on a 9 day cycle and 56 hour work week (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1956 February 5th - 3 separate multiple alarm arson fires recall every member back to duty (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1957

Rescue Company 3 is formed and stationed at Branch Avenue (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A Mack model C pumper is purchased (Engine Company No. 17?) (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1958

May 6 - Classical high school is damaged by an arson fire causing $150,000 damage (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

July 26 - A suspicious fire heavily damages the school administration building on Pond and Summer Streets causing $600,000 damage (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1962 May 14th- Providence's union member vote to allow Local 799 of the Fire Fighters Union, AFL-CIO to act for them as their collective bargaining agent with the city. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1963

Rule Book is revised (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company 10 receives a new Maxim 100' aerial ladder truck (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1964 An Air Supply Station is established in order to maintain and repair breathing apparatus and extinguishers (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1965 Engine Company 18 receives a new Seagrave pumper outfitted with foam apparatus (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1966 Firefighter work week is reduced to 48 hours (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

August 23rd - Fire damages the First Unitarian Church on Benefit Street causing $475,000 in damage (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Marshall retires as Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)


Chief James T. Killilea
(1967-1970)
1967

Chief James T. Killilea is promoted to Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

A Foam Tender and Water Pollution unit are assigned to Engine Company 18 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1970 Chief James T. Killilea retires as Chief of Department (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief John F. McDermott Jr.
(1970-1973)
1970

Chief John F. McDermott Jr is promoted to Chief of Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The position of Assistant Chief is created and filled by Chief John J. Macdonald. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The number of Fire Districts is reduced from 4 to 3 eliminating one Battalion Chief (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

The Point Street Station is closed. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company 9 is dissolved. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company 10 is redesignated as Ladder Company 8 and relocated to the Brook Street station (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company 2 is redesignated as Engine Company 9 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company 17 is redesignated as Engine Company 2 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company 9 is redesignated as Ladder Company 7 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Engine Company 18 is redesignated as Engine Company 13 (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1972

Communications becomes a separate city department with it's own director. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Foam Tender No. 1 is received and assigned to Engine Company 13. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1973 Chief John F. McDermott Jr retires as Chief of Department. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief John F. McDonald
(1973-1973)
1973 Chief John F. McDonald is promoted to Chief of Department and retires the same year. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Chief Michael F. Moise
(1973-1990)
1974

Providence Engine 6, 1974 CF Mack (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company No. 2, Engine Company No. 6, Engine Company No. 8, and Engine Company No. 11 all receive new Mack 1000gpm pumpers. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Ladder Company 6 and Ladder Company 7 receive new Maxim 100' aerial tiller ladder trucks. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Rescue 3 receives a new Jaws of Life hydraulic extrication device. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1981 Engine Company No. 1 becomes a 2 piece unit as it is assigned Special Hazards 1, a new Mack R Model, American Modular Body Corporation Heavy Rescue. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1982 Ladder Company No. 1 receives a refurbished 75' Mack / Baker tower ladder purchased from FDNY and becomes Tower Ladder 1. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence Tower Ladder 2, 1972 Mack Baker (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Ladder Company No. 2 receives a refurbished 75' Mack / Baker tower ladder purchased from FDNY and becomes Tower Ladder 2. (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1983 Ladder Company 4 receives a new Maxim 100' aerial tiller ladder truck (Conley & Campbell, 1985)
1986

Providence Tower Ladder 1, 1986 Mack Baker (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Tower Ladder 1 receives a new Mack / Baker 95' aerialscope tower ladder (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

Providence Engine 3, 1986 CF Mack (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company 2, Engine Company 3, Engine Company 8, Engine Company 10 and Engine Company 14 all receive new 1250gpm CF Mack / Ranger pumpers (Conley & Campbell, 1985)

1989 Tower Ladder 2 receives a new Mack / Baker 75' aerialscope tower ladder
Chief Gilbert McLaughlin
(1990-1991)
Chief Alfred F. Bertoncini
(1991-1994)
1991

Providence Engine 8, 1991 CF Mack (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company 8 receives a new 1250gpm CF Mack / Ranger pumper, the last CF series Mack pumper produced.

Providence Engine 12, 1991 E-One Protector (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company 13 receives a new E-One Cyclone Foam Unit pumper

Providence Engine 12, 1991 E-One Protector (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company 12's 1974 Mack 1000gpm pumper is replaced with a new E-One Protector pumper

1992 Providence Special Hazards, 1992 Pemfab Ranger (ernieyoung.com, 2009)
Engine Company 1 assumes the designation Special Hazards 1 as it receives a new Pemfab / Ranger Heavy Rescue and discontinues the use of it's pumper as a 2nd unit
Chief Michael DiMascolo
(1994-1995)
Chief James Rattigan
(1995-2003)
Chief David Costa
(2004-2006)
Chief George S. Farrell
(2007- Present)

Back to Ernie Young Firefighter Artwork

resources used

  • Captain Charles E. White, 1886, The Providence Fireman, E. L. Freeman & Son, State Printers, Providence, RI.
  • William C. Pelkey, 1919, Providence City Manual 1919-1920, Providence Printing Company, Inc, City Printers, Providence, RI.
  • Patrick T. Conley & Paul R. Campbell, 1985, Firefighters and fire in Providence, Rhode Island Publications Society, RI
  • Http:///www.handtubs.com, 2005, Website
  • R. Wilikinson, 1906, Providence Fire Department Postcard Series, Providence, RI
  • http://www.engine3.org/Silsby/BldListCityPhiladelphiaToRichwood.html
  • http://www.ingenious.org.uk/See/Tradeandindustry/Firefighting/?target=SeeLarge&ObjectID={CEE461A4-727F-9842-BCAD-D31D335B9E7E}&viewby=images
  • http://antiquesandthearts.com/events/auction.asp?id=6501&type=1
  • http://www.missvalley.com/shelbinafire/History.htm
  • http://www.hallofflame.org/
  • http://www.ernieyoung.com/