Thursday 7 November 2013

Early Fire Services in Cambridge

The first mention of any fire precautions in Cambridge comes from records dating back to the 16th Century in documents that show a issue of a bucket and ladder given to Colleges and Churches across the town.

It wasn't until 1875 The Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed using hose carts and ladders found in seven stations across the town. In 1909 more equipment was acquired including a horse drawn steam engine.
First Motor Fire Engine in Cambridge - St. Andrew Street 1920's

The volunteer fire brigade in Chesterton amalgamated with the Cambridge brigade in 1911.

In 1921, the Cambridge Borough Police Fire Brigade was formed and took over the responsibility of the fire service in Cambridge. They obtained a motor vehicle and pump.

The combined police and fire station was found in St. Andrew Street where the building still remains there today, but used for other purposes. A second station was also set up in Newmarket Road to work alongside the one in St. Andrew Street.

In 1948 the Cambridgeshire Fire Brigade was formed after denationalisation and in 1965 the Cambridgeshire Fire Brigade and the Isle of Ely Fire Service amalgamated into one service called Cambridgeshire & Isle of Ely Fire Brigade. The headquarters and control room were based at a new station in Parkside.

In April 1974, after a number of fire authorities were reduced across the UK the Cambridgeshire & Isle of Ely Fire Brigade amalgamated with  the Huntingdonshire and Peterborough County Fire Service to form one service called The Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service Authority. It is thought this was the first British fire authority to include the word 'Rescue' in it's title.