Los Angeles Fire Department

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The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles. It is also known as the Los Angeles City Fire Department to distinguish it from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The LAFD responds to approximately 750,000 emergency calls annually, with over 85% being EMS related.



LAFD has it origins in the year 1871. In September of that year, George M. Fall, the County Clerk for Los Angeles County organized Engine Company No. 1. It was a volunteer firefighting force with an Amoskeag fire engine and a hose jumper (cart). The equipment was hand-drawn to fires. In the spring of 1874, the fire company asked the Los Angeles City Council to purchase horses to pull the engine. The Council refused and the fire company disbanded.[1]

Many of the former members of Engine Company No. 1 reorganized under the name of Thirty-Eights-No.1 In May 1875, Engine Co. No. 2 was organized under the name Confidence Engine Company.[1]

Los Angeles acquired its first "hook and ladder" truck for the Thirty-Eight's. It proved to be too cumbersome and was ill-adapted to the needs of the city. It was sold to the city of Wilmington. In 1876, another "hook and ladder" truck was purchased, serving in the city until 1881.[1]

In 1878, a third fire company was formed by the residents in the neighborhood of Sixth Street and Park. It was given the name of "Park Hose Co.No.1." East Los Angeles formed a hose company named "East Los Angeles Hose Co.No.2" five years later. The final volunteer company was formed in the fall of 1883 in the Morris Vineyard area. This company was called "Morris Vineyard Hose Co.No.3."[1]

All of these companies remained in service until February 1, 1886, when the present paid fire department came into existence.[1]

In 1877, the first horses were bought for the city fire department. The department would continue to use horses for its equipment for almost fifty years, phasing out the last horse drawn equipment on July 19, 1921.[2]

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