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Our History

Our History

The story of service. A century-long commitment to creating a safe community.

Our History: 1847

1897

1897

Richmond Fire Department is established.

Our History: 1912-1917

1912-1917

1912-1917

The Steveston Fire Department was created for the cannery town and fishing port of Steveston. The fishery also supported a significant boatbuilding and shipbuilding industry. At this time, the fire department had 24 volunteer firefighters on board and one full-time, paid fire chief.

Our History: 1918

1918

1918

In the month of May, a fire was allegedly started in the cookhouse in Star Cannery in Steveston. The fire spread quickly due to strong winds, and owing to the fact that many canneries and surrounding housing were built with wood. The inferno destroyed most of the buildings between No. 1 Road and Third Avenue, as well as many buildings south of Moncton Street. It engulfed three canneries and three hotels, displacing about 600 Japanese, Chinese, and First Nations workers and their families. The total damage amounted to $500,000.

Our History: 1922

1922

1922

The Brighouse Volunteer Fire Department was created and received a $100 grant from the Municipal Council.

Our History: 1924

1924

1924

The Brighouse Volunteer Fire Department closed down due to the onset of World War II. Consequently, the fire department was transformed into the Air Raid Protection Unit (A.R.P.) to protect Canada’s west coast if World War II were to happen. Richmond was divided into 6 districts, each with its own fire brigade.

Our History: ~1937

~1939

~1939

World War II began. Air Raid Protection (A.R.P.) protected Richmond’s Lulu Island.

Our History: 1942

1942

1942

A team of 15 volunteer firefighters purchased a car chassis and transformed it into the first mobile Air Raid Precaution Unit in Canada.

Our History: ~1946

~1945

~1945

World War II ended. A.R.P. was disbanded and the Vancouver Fire Department was responsible for fire protection on the island.

Our History: 1947

1947

1947

The construction of Burkeville Fire Hall #4 in Richmond was completed and actively in service. Address: 780 Lancaster Crescent, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 1947

1947

1947

The construction of Hamilton Fire Hall #5 in Richmond was completed and in service. Address: 23031 Westminster Highway, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 1951

1951

1951

Firefighting and rescue services in the Richmond area were provided free of charge until 1951, when a paid staff member was hired to work out of the Brighouse firehall. Unpaid men were represented by the Volunteer Fire-Fighters Association and the Central Fire Committee.

Our History: 1951-1969

1951-1969

1951-1969

After the first paid firefighter was brought aboard, there was an increase in paid firemen, prompting the development of Local 1286 (The Fire-Fighters Union), which was organized within the International Association of Fire-Fighters. Volunteers continued to support the salaried firefighters until 1969, after which volunteer brigades were gradually phased out.

Our History: 1957

1957

1957

Richmond firefighters affiliated with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) acquired their Local 1286 designation.

Our History: 1958

1958

1958

Bridgeport Fire Hall #3 was constructed and in service. Address: 9100 Bridgeport Road, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 1962

1962

1962

Brighouse Fire Hall #1 construction completed and in service. Address: 6960 Gilbert Road, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 1967-1969

1967-1969

1967

37 salaried firefighters were employed. Each hall, with the exception of East Richmond, had a firefighter on duty 24 hours a day.

1969

Majority of the volunteer brigades had been phased out and 100 salaried firefighters were servicing the Richmond communities. The Sea Island Volunteer Fire Brigade closed, with Brighouse and Bridgeport following soon after.

Our History: 1972-1973

1972-1973

1972

Steveston Fire Hall #2 construction completed and in service. Address: 11011 No. 2 Road, Richmond, B.C. Steveston Volunteer Fire Brigade closes.

1973

The last volunteer fire brigade, East Richmond, closed down and all of Richmond’s firefighters were now full-time paid positions.

Our History: 1976

1976

1976

Shellmont Fire Hall #6 construction completed and in service. Address: 9400 No. 4 Road, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 1992-1997

1992-1997

1992

Crestwood Fire Hall #7 construction completed and in service. Address: 5731 No. 6 Road, Richmond, B.C.

1995

Richmond Fire-Rescue amalgamated with the Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) firefighters to protect the Richmond community as one unit under new contract agreements.

1997

Richmond Fire-Rescue’s Local 1286 commemorates 100 years of service.

Our History: 2001-2004

2001-2004

2001

During the attacks at the U.S. World Trade Centres, Richmond firefighters were dispatched to the Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) to stand by for emergency response.

2004

Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) altered its emergency response from municipal to federal, therefore separating its services from Richmond Fire-Rescue. However, Richmond Fire-Rescue continues to respond and provide support for emergencies at YVR.

Our History: 2007

2007

2007

Hamilton Fire Hall #5 construction completed and in service.  The new fire hall moved to 22451 Westminster Highway, Richmond, B.C. Designed for post-disaster support, the structure is constructed using a concrete slab on structural fill, compacted to new 100-year floodplain elevation. The facility achieved its sustainable “Green” initiative designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

Our History: 2007

2007

2007

Burkeville Fire Hall #4 and Hamilton Fire Hall #5, both built in 1947, are demolished.

Our History: 2007

2007

2007

Sea Island Fire Hall #4 construction completed and in service, which replaced Burkeville Fire Hall #4. New address: 3911 Russ Baker Way, Richmond, B.C. This fire hall was also built for post-disaster support and features a  sustainable “Green” initiative designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards.

Our History: 2008

2008

2008

Shellmont Fire Hall #6, built in 1976, underwent extensive renovations to bring it up to post-disaster response readiness

Our History: 2009

2009

2009

Steveston Fire Hall #2, built in 1972, was demolished for new hall to be built on site.

Our History: 2009

2009

2009

Shellmont Fire Hall #6 renovations completed and in service. The building was seismically upgraded so that in the event of an earthquake, Richmond Fire-Rescue is able to provide emergency services.

Our History: 2010

2010

2010

Richmond hosts the Olympic Games. Richmond Fire-Rescue temporarily expanded service for fire and rescue during the games.

(Image Source: Richmond Olympic Oval)

Our History: 2011

2011

2011

Steveston Fire Hall #2 construction completed and in service.  This facility is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

Our History: 2015

2015

2015

Brighouse Fire Hall #1, built in 1962, was demolished for a new hall to be built on site. It was temporarily moved to 6931 Granville Avenue, Richmond, B.C.

Our History: 2017

2017

2017

Bridgeport Fire Hall #3, built in 1958, was closed.

Our History: 2017

2017

2017

The construction of Cambie Fire Hall #3 was completed and in service, which replaced Bridgeport Fire Hall #3. New address:  9680 Cambie Road, Richmond, B.C. It is the first facility in a major B.C. city that has both Fire-Rescue and Ambulance services in one building.  The 26,000 square feet facility is sustainably designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

Our History: 2018

2018-Present

2018

Brighouse Fire Hall #1 construction completed and in service.  The design of the new fire hall meets strict operational requirements to fulfill the needs of our growing community. The 25,240 square foot facility is post-disaster rated to ensure it will remain operable should a major seismic event occur. It is also sustainably designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

At Present

The Richmond Fire Department has over 200 firefighters and serves 227,406 people in the community of Richmond.