The year was 1859. The citizens of Niles formed an official fire department. It was a time of leather hoses, horse drawn carts and bucket brigades. There were almost 200 men whose only job was to extinguish fires. In 1923, we saw our first motorized fire engine with pumping ability. In 1950 an aerial ladder truck was added.
My how things have changed. We now have two engine/pumpers and one in reserve, a 100-foot aerial ladder, a rescue van, four water rescue craft, a utility vehicle and three operations vehicles.
In 1982, our full-time department status was changed to a combination department and today serves our community from a single station with a 10-member full-time staff and 21 on-call/Part-time firefighters.
Our services have changed also. We no longer do just fires. We are now a full-service Fire Department offering 24-hour around the clock protection with a staff of trained professionals who meet the needs of the community. Our capabilities are not limited to residential. We are trained and ready to meet all of the communities' needs from industrial and commercial to mercantile. Our desire is to please the customer, you the citizens and guests of the City of Niles. So, if you are in need of any of our services, do not hesitate to call. Our number is simple to remember, 911. You don't need an appointment and we do make house calls!
Our expanded services include:
- Confined space, Rope, Collapse, Trench Rescue
- Vehicle Rescue
- River rescue
- Participants with MABAS 201 Tactical Rescue
- Participants with MI-Region 5-Tactical Rescue
- Proud members of the Michigan Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. (MABAS)
- Hazardous material operations
- Ordinance enforcement
- Commercial Fire inspections
- Emergency Medical Response
- Public education programs
- In-Class Fire Education Programs in Cooperation with Niles Township Fire.
- "FLASH and FLICKER" children's education program in Cooperation with Niles Township Fire.
- Elderly citizens' safety education program.
- Industrial safety and extinguisher training program on request.
- Complete equipment and building maintenance program.
- Certified fire cause investigation team with Niles Police Department.
- 4 certified training instructors for all service operations from FFI to hazardous materials.