Fire Department


In the following pages, Retired Fire Chief Wilbur Bills has attempted to reflect the history of Fire Protection for the Village and City of Delaware as it unfolded from it inception in 1831. Much of the information was secured from reading the Council minutes from 1831 to 1916.

Fire Department History

During the early history of Delaware as a village every citizen was a member of the fire department. At the first alarm everyone rushed out with pail in hand to the scene of action, and so effective did they prove that but two or three fires of any importance occurred during the first 25 years of the town’s existence.


In 1834 when the Delaware Fire Department was first organized, all personnel were volunteers or “Minute Men,” as they were referred to, until approximately 1870 when full-time drivers for the various pieces of apparatus were hired.