“It started with compassion for our neighbors and pride in our community.”
In 1920, after three years of organizing and planning by a group of local business leaders, the Peoria Fire Protection District was established. Its goal was to prevent fires, protect business and the folks who called Peoria home. The fire district was made up of the area within Stone Street to the north and Monroe Street to the south, between 82nd and 85th Avenues.
In 1922, the district purchased its first fire pumper, a 1922 Ford Model T. Eight years later, the District traded in the Ford for a 1929 Chevrolet chemical fire engine. This historic vehicle is still owned by the Peoria Fire Department and has been completely refurbished by Wilhelm Automotive – a generations-old Peoria business. It is now stored at Station 192 and brought out for special events like Santa Claus toy deliveries, Parades, and our Annual Fire It Up Car Show.
In 1954, the City of Peoria was incorporated. At that time the City boundaries covered one square mile. The Fire District was abandoned, and the Peoria Volunteer Fire Department was established. These volunteers served the community until 1980, when the City hired its first full-time firefighters.
Today, the City is more than 175 square miles, with more than 160,000 full time residents, and employs around 200 full-time professional firefighter paramedics.