Department History

The Beginning (1887 – 1900)

With Southern Pacific Railroad coming to the area in 1887, coal was mined and exported for the fuel used on steam engines. They had three coaling stations.

The Need for Fire Suppression (1900 – 1903)

In 1900, there were over two dozen framed buildings, mostly saloons among shanties and tents. 1903 brought the erection of Coalinga’s first brick building.

Oops (1903 – 1906)

In 1903, Chief Boyd and his crew kept house next door to the Opera House.

First Fire Truck (1915)

April 8, 1915, the City of Coalinga took delivery of their first motorized fire apparatus, an American La France Type 20-combination chemical engine.

Continuing Problems & Second Fire Truck (1916 – 1921)

Fire after fire continued with disastrous results because of no water. The water system of that time was always breaking down; leaks and pump failures.

First Pumper (1925)

On January 30, 1925, Coalinga received their first pumper, Engine Number 1. It was a 1924 American La France Type 75 triple combination.

Group Picture (1925)

With the advent of the machine age came improvement and modernization of Coalinga’s fire defenses.