Graduation June 21, 2024 – Guest Speaker Ken West, President & CEO of HCA Florida JFK Hospital

What Should You Know About West Palm Beach Fire Rescue?

FIRE-LOGO-200x200In 1894, a small village had grown and the state of Florida granted a petition to form the city of West Palm Beach. By the time incorporation came about in November, fires had already become common. That is when the Fire Department was organized.
The Flagler Alerts were the first firefighters in South Florida. The volunteers received their moniker in honor of Henry Flagler, the man who had donated the very first firefighting equipment. Those donations included a hand pulled hose reel and a hand drawn and operated pump to supply water to fight fires.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue Hires Firefighters

In the early 1900’s, the Flagler Alerts hired their first paid firefighters. In 1911, the name was changed to the City of West Palm Beach Fire Department. The department was not restricted to only responding within city limits. It was common for them to respond to the Island of Palm Beach.  It wasn’t until 1924 that two more stations were added. They were known as “North Station” and “South Station.”

West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Leads The Way

With Alfred P. Sadler heading the department, up-to-date equipment and advanced training made West Palm Beach one of Florida’s premier fire departments.  West Palm Beach took another leap ahead adding another station which included a five-story training tower right next door. Seven short years later, a fifth station was added to help handle the surge of growth in the western part of the city.

West Palm Beach Adds Paramedics and Another Station

The year 1975 brought more change to the fire departments. Paramedics were added to the teams which made headway for other specialties to come in over the years such as vehicle extrication, hazardous materials response, and technical rescue.  Ten years later in 1985, Station 6 was added after the additions of two major railroads and Interstate 95. The quiet pineapple fields had been replaced with high-rises, making the addition of another station important. Since then, two more stations have been added and the equipment has, of course, been updated along with the faces in the department. As stated on their site, “For 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the West Palm Beach firefighters have been there for you since 1894.”

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