Dating back to Prescott, Ontario Canada’s earliest records of 1834, it’s apparent that fire protection of the community has always been of great importance. While there is no evidence proving the actual formation date of the Prescott Fire Brigade, there has always been some form of organized fire protection service in force. The earliest by-laws of the town contain several rules and regulations that were laid down for observance by the citizens of Prescott. It was imperative that house occupants and businessmen alike kept supplies readily available, such as a ladder long enough to reach the roof of houses, and buckets or barrels filled with water.
The town records show that as years passed, proper fire fighting equipment was purchased for the volunteer fire department. The first piece of equipment purchased was a hand pumper named “Augusta”. At the time the Augusta was one of the most modern pieces of its kind. With this new equipment came new by-laws concerning the accumulation of rubbish and other potential fire hazards. They were strictly enforced, and anyone caught breaking the law would be dealt with accordingly.
When a fire broke out and the services of the pumper were called upon, water was supplied by horse-drawn vehicles. As time passed, the hand pumper gave way to the steam fire engine, and then larger water reservoirs were placed strategically throughout the town. With time, and the installation of the hydrant water system, tanks and other protective apparatus became outdated.
For many years, it wasn’t uncommon to see horse drawn fire wagons in Prescott. This team of horses, which were owned by the town of Prescott, were not just used for fire calls, but also for various jobs throughout the town. Even with these shared resources, It was still clear to the fire underwriters in the Province of Ontario, that the Prescott Fire Department held the record for speed after receiving a fire alarm. This was a great accomplishment to the volunteer Prescott Fire Brigade, because they were usually at their full time jobs when an alarm sounded.
Prescott has purchased several pumping apparatus’ over the years. The 1931 Bickle Pumper is still a proud part of the firefighting history. A few vehicles throughout the years were a 1955 GMC Lafrance combination aerial ladder/pumper, 1961 GMC utility wagon, 1962 GMC Thiabaut pumper, 1967 GMC Thiabaut combination 75’ aerial ladder/pumper, and a 1979 GMC Rescue van fully equipment with the latest necessities for today’s extrication, water rescue and firefighting.
The current fleet used today by the Prescott Fire Department is a 1989 Mack Thiabaut pumper, 1994 GMC Safari utility van, 1998 Superior Rescue van, and a 2008 Sutphen 75’ combination aerial ladder/pumper.
Since the earliest days of the Prescott Fire Brigade, fire practices and fireman meetings have been held regularly. Annually, there are picnics, as well as Firemen Competitions, where visiting firemen from the district points in Canada and Northern New York compete in sporting events. Friendly rivalry exists amongst all competitors.
The Prescott Fire Department in all its years has never lacked volunteers. They volunteer their time and effort, risking their own lives daily for the community of Prescott. A fact remembered and appreciated by the citizens of this great town.
Prescott Fire Department