Fire Department History
Gulfport Fire Rescue began as an all-volunteer fire department prior to 1920 with a small group of local men, mainly commercial fishermen. In 1925, the City purchased an American LaFrance Triple Combination Pumper for $12,500. This “state-of-the-art” fire engine served the City in frontline use until the early 1960’s and was completely restored in 1997 for $12,000.
Over the years the community grew and the demands on the fire department increased. In 1979, a contract was signed with a local ambulance service to provide emergency medical services to the community. The original members of this service were housed in the fire station. In the early 1980’s, Pinellas County began Advanced Life Support operations countywide. Eventually, the City hired EMT’s and Paramedics as City employees who became volunteer firefighters. In 1995, with the hiring of Fire Chief Brian Brooks, the process was begun to change from an all-volunteer fire department to a combination fire department by adding one firefighter per shift and supplementing them with volunteer firefighters. The City of Gulfport and the Gulfport Fire Department are grateful to the volunteer members, and the members’ families, who served faithfully and well through the decades.