Downey Fire Department
The City of Downey assumed the responsibility of providing fire protection services for the citizens of Downey from the Los Angeles County Fire Department at noon on Tuesday, September 10, 1957. Since that time, the Downey Fire Department has strived to serve and protect the lives and property of the community through the delivery of the highest standards of emergency medical care, fire prevention, and fire and environmental protection.
Chief Robert Gain took the helm of the fire department as its first Chief on June 16, 1957. He, along with 53 dedicated individuals were to form the foundation of this great department. Chief Gain faced a monumental task of literally building a Fire Department from the ground up as he had to locate and purchase land for fire stations, purchase fire engines and equipment, and hire and train an entire department. His great planning and foresight helped to develop a modern and professional Fire Department the citizens of Downey enjoy today. However, Chief Gain’s contributions were not only limited to the Downey community. He is also known as the “Father of the Fire Code” for his leadership in the development of the Uniform Fire Code, which would become a minimum set of fire prevention standards to safeguard life, property, and public welfare.