Since 1881, professional and caring emergency services have been provided to the City of Georgetown. We are one of the longest standing fire departments in the United States.
All personnel of those early years were volunteers. The Hook and Ladder was pulled by both manpower and horses to the fire, then a bucket brigade sent water from the hose to the fire. This was primitive, indeed, compared to sophisticated equipment now. But, it saved many homes and buildings in the community from serious loss. Finally, in 1876, the Georgetown Fire Department was officially organized, just prior to the great fire of Taylorsville (Taylor, Texas) which destroyed almost all of the businesses of Taylorsville on February 25, 1879.
. The first firehouse was located at 816 South Main Street. The original building was a wooden structure that housed the Hook and Ladder company. The building was replaced in 1892 with a two-story limestone building that served as the Mayor’s office, City Council Chambers, City jail, & the Georgetown Water Company. This building still stands today at the intersection of 9th and Main Sts. (and still displays the original fire bell!) .
In 1882, J.E. Cooper organized Rescue Hose Company No. 1. This fire company had approximately twenty-five (25) volunteer firefighters and was housed in a separate wooden building at the corner of Timber Street and West 9th Street. J.E. Cooper was the foreman of this company and the Department’s first Assistant Fire Chief.
Over the years, the department has evolved in size and capabilities to meet the emergency and rescue challenges of the community. Today, the department is comprised of highly professional and dedicated members that continue to meet the increasing service demands for our community.
The Department responds to nearly 10,000 emergency incidents per year, which is typical for cities in size similar to that of Georgetown. In addition to combating complex fires, firefighters provide pre-hospital emergency medical care (EMS), rescue people trapped as a result of accidents and respond to hazardous material releases. Specialized rescue capabilities include high angle rescue, confined space, trench rescue, wild fire mitigation, dive/recovery, and swift water rescue.