A fire brigade made up of volunteers exsisted as early as 1888.
We have come a long way since the 1950's, but one thing remains, and that is the dedication and passion of our team. We have built on our successful foundation to stand as a proud Fire Service of 92 full time firefighters, operating out of 4 full time staffed Fire Stations.
The very first fire station (Station #1) was a Quonset hut (a small semicircular steel structure) built on Kingston Road at Rosebank in 1952.
The Fire Services expanded in the 1970's to a building on Bayly Street, now known as Station #5. This building became our Headquarters. Other Fire Stations included Station 3 in Brougham, and Station 4 in Claremont. Both were annexed in the creation of the Region of Durham project in January 1974. Station 2 was located in what is now the Town of Ajax, on Pickering Beach Road and was absorbed by the Town of Ajax in the early 1970's.
Up until the late 1970's volunteers were alarmed of fires through a war time air raid siren located at the Kingston Road station as well as through "Plectrons" which were radio controlled monitors placed in their homes. Volunteers without one relied on their wives phoning each other to notify them of the alarm or were limited to reside in the vicinity of the sounding air raid siren.
It wasn't until the 1970's that breathing masks became recognized as mandatory on a fire scene. The masks did not do a sufficient job of keeping smoke from being inhaled but it was a crucial first step in promoting health and safety in the workplace nonetheless.
In 1990, Durham Region went to a 9-1-1 area wide emergency notification system that would put the caller in touch with one operator for any emergency
The year 2000 saw a significant change in the way Pickering Fire Service did business. A new radio system was introduced that put all Regional departments on the same radio platform and the outbreak of SARS in 2003, changed the way we responded to any medical emergency. We were forced to look closer at self-protection precautions and a heightened awareness with health exposure issues to both staff and the public.
Full Time Fire Services
In 2010 Pickering Fire Services became a full time career fire service, marking the first time in our history that there would no longer be volunteer or part time fire fighters responding to an emergency alarm from their homes.