A special thanks to Chris Campbell of the Boise Fire Department Engine 5-A for providing the statistics on this page.







205,671 as of 2010 census

$23 mil.








A Brief History of Boise's Fire Department

beefour.gif - 58.52 K

Note: The notes for this history were taken from Arthur A. Hart's book entitled "Fighting Fire on the Frontier"
Also: Notes from 1996 to the present are courtesy of Chris Campbell at Engine 5-A Shift.

January 24, 1876

Boise's fire department originally got its start when a group of 28 men signed on as the first volunteer firefighters.

April 11, 1876

A blacksmith shop owned by George Washington Stilz on Main Street was purchased as the first firehouse. The same year, a locally made hook and ladder started service as Ada Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1.

July 18, 1879

Boise received its first fire engine, a Silsby steam pumper, which was named "The Boise City", became Engine Co. No. 1. It was trimmed in scarlet, brass, and gold leaf.

October, 1883

A new firehouse was constructed on the corner of Ninth Street and Main Street, a month after the Stilz shop/firehouse burned to the ground. At the corner of Eighth Street and Idaho Street a new brick firehouse was also built, replacing a corrugated iron structure, which had been moved to the north side of Bannock Street.


Boise received its first chemical fire engine. This became the new Engine Co. No. 1, while the Silsby steamer became the Relief Engine Co. No. 1.


A new hook and ladder, painted in blue, red, and gold, was purchased from W.T.Y.. Schenck of San Francisco.

September, 1894

A second chemical engine was purchased from the Chicago Fire Extinguisher Company. This was a dual tank, of 60 gallons each, chemical engine, named "The Champion".


The fire station that was located at Fort Street and Eighth Street was moved to Tenth Street and Resseguie Street. This year also marked the first use of horses for the Boise City volunteers.


Boise purchased a lot at the corner of Sixth Street and Main, on which would be built the new Central Fire Station.

May 25, 1902

All of the volunteers resigned, bringing to an end the volunteer status of the Boise firefighters, but signalling the beginning of the paid professionals, now known as the Boise Fire Department.

January, 1903

A Metropolitan No. 3 steam pumper purchased from the American Fire Engine Co. This steamer is on display at the Idaho Old Penitentiary Transportation Museum, showing today the effects of much use.

September 20, 1907

A 3-hitch American LaFrance 900 gpm Metropolitan was purchased for $6625


2 Seagrave Combinataion chemical and hose wagons were purchased in response to the need for better fire equipment, due to the rising upward and outward of Boise.

January, 1912

An 85 foot Seagrave/Miller aerial was the first motorized Boise apparatus.


The American LaFrance Metropolitan steamer was motorized and used until 1924.


Station 4 was built at McKinley and East State Street, the station at Tenth and Resseguie was moved to a new building at Sixteenth and Fort Street, and the new Station 2 was built at Sixteenth Street and Front Street (now Station 5).

April 14, 1914

2 American LaFrance combination pumpers were ordered. They had 4 cylinders and 70 hp each.


The two Seagrave Combinations were motorized with Federal Truck chain drive chassis.


A Mack AC Aerial replaced the Seagrave/Miller apparatus.

1924-Two Stutz pumpers, a model O of 1200 gpm, and a model K3 of 500 gpm. The model O is also on display at the Old Idaho Penitentiary Transportation Museum. Also, the fire department consolidated to just 3 stations: No. 1-Central Station at Sixth and Idaho; No. 2-Sixteenth and Fort Streets; No. 3-Williams and Boise Avenue.


A 500 gpm American LaFrance pumper put at Station 3.


A 300 gpm Howe replaced the Model K3 Stutz, which had been wrecked and repaired, and a 750 gpm Howe-Studebaker booster and squad truck were put into service.


New American LaFrance pumpers obtained and a new Seagrave 85 foot aerial.


A new Seagrave aerial was acquired, an International 750 gpm pumper, and an Ahrens-Fox 1000 gpm pumper


A Ford 600 gallon pumper


An American LaFrance 1000 gpm pumper. Station 4 was built at the corner of Kootenai Street and Federal Way. Station 5 was reopened at the corner of Sixteenth and Front Streets.


Station 2 built a new structure at Seventeenth and Ridenbaugh Streets to replace the Sixteenth and Fort Street station.


2 Army tankers.


An American LaFrance Open cab 1000 gpm pumper


A Ford 1500 gallon tanker and 2 American LaFrance 900 Series 1000 gpm pumpers. Station No. 6 was built at Liberty Street and Primrose Street.


Station 7 built at Gowen Field.


An American LaFrance, a Ford 1500 gallon tanker, and a Yankee Walters.


An American LaFrance Pioneer series 1000 gpm pumper. Station 8 took over the former Whitney fire station at 4522 Overland Road.


Station 4 at Kootenai and Federal Way was abandoned due to the closeness of Stations 3 and 8.


1.An American LaFrance 90 foot Aero Chief Boom Platform and an American LaFrance 1250 gpm Pumper (the first diesel in Boise) were purchased.

2. Station 4 was built at 8485 Ustick Road.

3. Map books of the city began to be used.


Six new vehicles joined the force, including a Walters 1000 gal., 500 lb. dry powder quick response crash truck and a new diesel American LaFrance 1250 gpm pumper.


November - Station 9 built at 3101 Sycamore Drive. An American LaFrance 1250 gpm Diesel Automatic Pioneer series was the first engine.


Station 1 moved from Sixth and Main to a new facility located at 707 Reserve Street.


1. Engine 11 begins operations at the former North Ada County Fire and Rescue Station 2.
2. Brush 1 temporarily operates as Station 13 at the old Station 2 building.
3. Brush 6 is moved to Station 8 as Brush 8.
4. HazMat 6 begins operations from Station 6.


1. November 23-Engine 12 began operations.
2. HazMat 6 moved to Station 12 as HazMat 12.
3. ARFF operations closed at Station 7 and moved to the Gowen Field FD.
4. Brush 8 moved back to Station 6 as Brush 6.
5. County Stations 4 and 8 combined as one Eagle Fire Department unit.


1. County Fire Station 9 opens as part of County Station 1.
2. Brush 9 moved to Station 2 as Brush 2.


1. Brush 2 moved to Station 9 as Brush 9.
2. Dive 3 moved to Station 1 as Dive 1.
3. Meridian opens new fire station and renumbers station as Meridian Fire 31 instead of County Station 3.
4. County station 9 renamed as County station 3 - still part of the North Ada County Fire and Rescue.
5. Rescue 7 and Squad 7 formed in November at Station 7.
6. Whitney Fire District becomes Boise Fire Department on November 11. Engines 101 and 102 renamed Engine 21 and Engine 22.
7. ARFF records counted as Boise Fire Department records.


A third battalion chief is added to the "A" shift and is stationed at Station 7.

May, 2002

May 23-27, Boise celebrated its 100th year as a paid fire department with a week-end long celebration. The festivities ended on the weekend with a dinner for invited guests from throughout the Northwest who were attending. On Saturday morning, a parade of about 85 apparatus from different years were presented with a static photographic opportunity display following for the next 6 hours. During the parade, apparatus were grouped according to decades, starting with 1902 to 1911, 1912 to 1921, etc.  A barbecue for all parade participants and invited guests was held at Julia Davis park Saturday evening.  On Sunday, a muster of the apparatus was held at the Boise State University football stadium, with other activities for the children. 

August, 2002 Bids were sent out for a remodel of Station 11. Second announcement of bids was published on September 1, 2002.
November, 2002 1. The former Squad 154 from Station 21 was rebuilt by the Boise Fire Department maintenance department and is now functioning as Brush 10, making a total of 6 brush units.
2. Truck 6, a Mack/Aerialscope, is sent to Pierce in Wisconsin for refurbishment. Truck 21 becomes the temporary replacement.
3. A Pierce 100-foot rear mount aerial is ordered.
4. 3 new Spartan/BME pumpers near completion for an early December delivery.
5. The old Dixon Paper warehouse is purchased by Boise Fire Department to become the new Station 7, with extra room for the rescue company.
March, 2003 1.  Truck 6 refurbishment completed and shipped back to Boise.
2.  Station 7 is moved to the new quarters on Commerce Street.  In the works is a new rescue rig, which will be much larger and able to hold more equipment than the current Rescue 7.

3.  The Pierce 100-foot rear-mount aerial arrives into Boise, but is not yet assigned.
4.  The Spartan/BME pumpers are sent to maintenance for department assignments.
5.  Stations 21 and 22 ordered and received two new Pierce pumpers, but not yet put into service.
April, 2003 1.  The refurbished Pierce/Aerialscope--the only one of its type in the country at this time, is put into service as Truck 6.
2. Engine 1, a new 2002 Spartan/Boise Mobile Equipment pumper has been put into service.  Three similar engines have arrived to replace Engines 3,4, and 7, with Engine 4 built to a lower height and different emissions standards than the other three.
June, 2003 1.  Truck 1 is replaced with a 2003 Pierce Dash Rear-Mount Tower Ladder All-Steer vehicle. 
September, 2003
1. The Seagraves for Engines 1, 3, 4, and 7 are replaced by 2002 Spartan Gladiator FF Chassis-Boise Mobile Equipment 1500 gpm pumpers.  Engine 4 is slightly different in cab appearance due to a change in manufacturing of the Gladiator FF chassis at Spartan Motors.
2. Old 13 is moved from Station 8 to Station 7.
3. The Sutphen quint is put into reserve and is housed at Station 7.
2004 Station 11 is expanded and remodeled.
March, 2007 1.  Brush 1 and 8 have been replaced with new Ford F-550/Boise Mobile Equipment brush rigs.  These replaced the two Hummers that were in service.
May, 2007 1.  Station 14 opens.  Engine 21, Water Tender 21, and Brush 21 have been re-numbered and placed in 14's quarters. 
2.  Station 21, now abandoned, put up for sale by auction.
August, 2007 1.  Engines 5, 8, and 10 have received their new engines - manufactured by Boise Mobile Equipment, they have Spartan Gladiator chassis, 1500 gpm pumps, and side-cab compartments, which distinguishes them as the only difference from the 2003-2004 deliveries.
March, 2008 1.  After 132 years at Station 1, Truck 1 is disbanded and reformed at Station 7 as Truck 7.
2.  Truck 5 forms as a new Crimson Fire 103 foot tillered aerial goes into service on a Spartan Gladiator chassis for the tractor.
2009 Battalion vehicles changed from the Chevrolet Suburbans to Ford Expeditions.
November, 2009 4 New Pierce engines delivered to Boise.  Engine 9's Simon/Duplex-BME engine is the first replacement. Engines 2, 12, and 17 will take the other three.
December, 2009 North Ada County Fire and Rescue merging services with Boise Fire.  All NACFR firefighters will be Boise Fire Department employees.
January, 2010 North Ada County Fire Apparatus renamed from Engine 201 to Engine 16, and Engine 202 becoming Engine 18.  Hidden Springs station is renumbered Station 20.  Construction on Station 17, near South Cole Road and Desert Avenue continuing with an expected opening date of mid-February.
March, 2010 Station 17 opens at 3801 South Cole Road.  It is a Whitney Fire District station, but is operated by Boise Fire Department.  Engine 17 is one of the four new Pierce ArrowXT engines delivered. 

HazMat 12 and HazCom12 are moved from Station 12 to Station 17, becoming HazMat 17 and HazCom 17.
October, 2010 Station 18 (Chinden Boulevard) has been temporarily closed due to budget issues in Garden City.  The firefighters have been re-assigned to other stations in Boise to fill vacancies needed there.
August, 2012
  • Battalion 2 moved to Station 4 from Station 6
  • Battalion 3 moved to Station 17 from Station 7
  • Truck 6 replaced with a new 2011 Pierce Arrow XT Aerial ladder. The former Truck 6 goes into reserve.
  • Station 15 opens. Station 22 closes and is sold to a private owner.
  • Station 1 undergoing extensive remodeling.

  • Disclaimer-This page is produced by a private fire apparatus enthusiast and is not an official statement of either Boise City or the Boise Fire Department.