Fire & Rescue Service History
According to the historical record, as described by author Edith McDermott, the original Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Service came into existence immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941. It originally operated under the Air Raid Protection system and the first Fire Chief was Hans Hoffmann. The other original members were Henry Doerksen, Henry Jensen, Douglas McDermott, Roy Lehman, Mac Wickson, Gordon Park, Ernie Lang, Oscar Austring, Slim Stewart and Frank Caws.
The former firehall was demolished in 2002 as part of continued development of the community. The old hall was located next to the Lions Den on Harris Road and served as the base of operations for many years. Though very cramped and ill-equipped for firefighting forces there are a great many memories cherished by anyone who was a part of its history in the department.
The first fire truck for Pitt Meadows was built by the members themselves. It was a 1929 Model A touring car which was torn down, rebuilt and outfitted for firefighting duties. This truck still exists today and is pictured here in its most common role now, that of the Clown Wagon for the Pitt Meadows Day Parade.
The department has undergone many changes over the years including the move to a career Chief, then an additional two career Assistant Chief’s and now the change to paid on-call (POC) volunteer firefighters supplemented by two unionized Fire Safety Technician staff. The number of members has increased over the years, as has the number of responses the department makes in response to calls for assistance by the citizens and visitors of Pitt Meadows.
Since its creation in 1941, the Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Service has been a fiercely proud group who are committed to providing a “professional” fire service to the citizens of the City of Pitt Meadows via dedicated and well-trained members. The department is, and always has been, committed to education and prevention as a means of promoting community safety and maintaining the excellent value for dollar ratio that it has.
The department was pleased to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2016, with festivities including an exciting traditional Fireworks Dance at the Heritage Hall, complete with a silent auction, dinner, dance and cake! The proceeds of this event were split equally between the Pitt Meadows Lions Club and the Model-A fire truck restoration fund.
This tradition of excellence has gained the department many accolades over the years as a leading edge organization committed to the provision of full-service fire protection through the use of a few career staff in support of the primarily volunteer-based POC firefighting force. The City of Pitt Meadows is justifiably proud of the work performed by these unselfish men and women for over 70 years.
Maybe you could become part of this proud tradition in the future!