Omaha Fire Department
The Omaha Fire Department was established in 1860, known then as the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company #1. The first fire station was located at 210 South 12th St which housed a hand drawn fire truck that the firefighters pulled to the fire then formed lines and used leather buckets filled with water to put out the fires. Initially the fire department relied strictly on volunteers from the community to provide the manpower for any fire.
The first big fire in Omaha occurred on November 8th, 1866 on the south side of Farnam Street between 13th and 14th. Nearly everything on the entire block was destroyed.
The first recognized Fire Chief was Andrew J. Simpson, he served from 1866 to 1868. Since Chief Simpson, the Omaha Fire Department has had 30 Fire Chiefs including our current Fire Chief Dan Olsen.
In 1867, with the purchase of better fire equipment, the first paid Firefighters were recognized. These paid Firefighters were required to stay at the fire station continuously with the apparatus and team of horses in a constant state of readiness. Today, Omaha has 24 fire stations located throughout the city that are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by trained professional Firefighters. Currently the fire department maintains a compliment of 645 Firefighters, Fire Apparatus Engineers, Fire Captains, Drill Master, Paramedic Shift Supervisors, Assistant Fire Marshals, Battalion Chiefs, and Assistant Fire Chiefs and Fire Chief to serve and protect the citizens of Omaha.