History of the Piedmont Fire Department

The Piedmont Fire Department has been serving the City of Piedmont since 1907, just two years after the official incorporation of the city. Initially a volunteer organization, the ability of the residents of Piedmont to have a fire department was a critical factor in becoming a city. Incorporation was spurred on by a fire at the Piedmont Hotel in 1892. Horse-drawn fire engines from Oakland took over two hours to arrive on scene. Needless to say, the hotel was a total loss.  

First Fire HouseThe fire house was built into the same structure as city hall and is in the same location to this day, albeit with a few modifications. The single bay is now double, and the hose tower has been removed, but the history is undeniable. The fire house still has its original brass pole to slide down from the firefighters dorm to the apparatus bay, a kitchen table fit for eight full-grown adults from the 1920s and a host of memorabilia from across the century.
Current PFD house
Piedmont has grown from the original seven families that lived in the area during the 1850s to a population of 10,667 covering 1.7 square miles and 3,924 houses completely surrounded by the City of Oakland. The city is predominantly residential with no freeways or industrial areas but is quite densely populated as it is surrounded by an urban landscape.

The Piedmont Fire Department was fully mechanized from its inception, never relying on horse drawn fire engines. Piedmont Fire’s ambulance is also the longest continually operating Fire Department ambulance in California. Emergency medical response is still highly valued and central to the role that the PFD serves in the community.

1931 ambulanceThe Piedmont Fire Department currently staffs seven line fire fighters per day aboard one engine, one truck and an ambulance. The average call volume is just over 1000 calls per year and track along national averages in terms of types of calls. Piedmont Fire is an active participant in the California Master Mutual Aid program and regularly deploys resources across the state during fire season and other large emergencies. Today the Piedmont Fire Department carries on the traditions of the past as it remains ever ready to serve its citizens amidst modern life. Cutting edge advanced life support via its historic ambulance, and a commitment to high technology equipment in the shadow of an early adopter of the modern fire engine, the Piedmont Fire Department is a professional and highly skilled group of public servants.