Fire protection began in Kansas City with the spontaneous formation of bucket brigades in an attempt to control fires that broke out in the mostly wood buildings of the city.
On March 12, 1867, the Missouri legislature granted permission to the city to form a fire department, to create and enforce a building code and to utilize necessary tax dollars for fire protection.
One year later, the steamboat Kate Kinney delivered Kansas City its first steam engine for the fire department. Chief Frank Foster and his volunteer firefighters tested the new engine on March 14, 1868. The engine was named John Campbell No. 1. The tests were completed at 4:56 p.m. on March 14, 1868, and the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department (KCFD) has existed since that time.
On August 2, 1871, the first career fire fighter was hired. The volunteer force of KCFD continued to decrease and by May of 1872, KCFD was staffed mostly by career personnel. Continue Reading →