History of the Santa Fe Springs Fire Department Updated: Apr 5, 2022
In the early 1800’s, Santa Fe Springs was primarily farmland, part of the original Spanish land grant called Rancho Santa Gertrudes. The town did not acquire its name until 1884 after the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway built its lines through the town.
Oil was discovered with the first oil strike in 1921. The bucolic farming area became dotted with oil derricks. Oil refineries were constructed in town to refine the oil from what had become one of the largest producing oil fields in the country. Over the years the area became heavily industrialized due to favorable land valuation, and the town’s access to major arteries of transportation, including the railroad.
Santa Fe Springs incorporated in May of 1957 and initially included 4.9 square miles. The City now comprises almost 9 square miles and is 90% industrial. Prior to incorporation, fire protection was provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. About a year after incorporation the City Council established its own Fire Department in lieu of contracting with Los Angeles County.
The new Fire Department got off to an auspicious start, borrowing fire apparatus from neighboring cities and using existing vacant buildings as fire stations. The first Headquarters Fire Station was constructed in 1959 on Telegraph Road (now known as Station No. 4). Station No. 2 was constructed in 1961, and Station No. 3 was constructed in 1963. Finally, Fire Station No. 1 was built in 1971 as the new fire headquarters and training center. Each of these stations and the training tower remain in use today.
From its humble beginnings as a 30 man department, the department has grown and currently has 53 firefighters, 3 fire prevention and 7 environmental protection personnel, 2 mechanics, and 4 administrative staff members. The Department is comprised of three divisions: Operations, Environmental Protection, and Fire Prevention. The department is an “all risk” emergency response provider with specialty programs in emergency medical services, urban search and rescue, hazardous materials emergency response, environmental protection, and fire prevention.
The men and women of the Santa Fe Springs Department of Fire - Rescue are committed to protecting and enhancing the safety and well being of the people that live, work, and play within our city.