Valley Center Fire Department History

Fire Protection since 1885


Retired E-411 1972 FMC Ford Fire TruckFrom the earliest articles that could be found, it seems the City of Valley Center was thinking about Fire Protection as early as September 29, 1885. In October of the same year the City adopted fire codes, purchased buckets, and purchased ladders.

In 1915 the City Council decided to purchase two Chemical Fire Engines from the Obenchain-Boyer Fire Engine Company. Both came with 45 gallon tanks.

In 1917 the City decided to pay the first and second firefighter who got the first two engines to the fire.

In 1933 the State of Kansas sent a letter to the City to suggest they organize a Volunteer Fire Department. The city appointed J.E. Fitzgerald as Fire Chief.

In 1953 the City purchased a Chevrolet Fire Engine, which we still have in original condition. It was used as a parade truck after it was retired and carries all the equipment that was on it in 1953. It is currently on loan to the Valley Center Historical Society (Engine 3).

In 1972 the City purchased a Ford FMC Fire Engine to replace the 1953 Engine (Pumper 1).

In 1972 the City purchased a 1972 Dodge 4X4 (Pumper 2).

In 1976 the City purchased a Dodge 4x4 pick up with a water tank and converted it into a squad in the 1980's with a slide in unit and utility body ( Squad 411).

In 1989 the city purchased a used 1981 International 6X6 chassis and converted it into a tender which carries 3,500 gallons of water (Tender 41).

In 1989 we moved into the new Public Safety Building which also houses the Police Department Dispatch and EMS quarters. The fire department has four bays and EMS has the fifth bay with doors both at the front and rear.

In 1995 the city purchased a Freightliner fire engine built by Ferrera Fire Equipment Company; this engine is our first out engine on all structure fires and second out on all medical calls (Engine 41).

In 2004 we applied and received a grant to purchase a new engine / tender. The new engine / tender carries all the equipment an engine would and also carries 2,500 gallons of water. This is our "second out" engine on structure fires;it replaced Pumper 1 (Engine/Tender 411).

In 2005 the city purchased a new 2006 Ford 550 4x4 Squad to replace older outdated 1972 Pumper 2; this apparatus is first out on grass fires and medical calls (Squad 41).

In 2010 we purchased a 2010 Ford F350 one ton 4X4 chasis which was built by Unruh Fire Co.; it replaced our 1976 Dodge 4X4 Squad 411. This apparatus is for grass and brush fires (Brush 41).