Kansas City Fire Department

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Kansas City, MO. Fire Department
Kcfd logo.gif
One Team - One Job - One Mission
Agency Overview
Employees1400[citation needed]
Facilities & Equipment
Ambulances15 ALS transport static units with additional dynamic units at peak times
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Kansas City, MO. Fire Department
Kcfd logo.gif
One Team - One Job - One Mission
Agency Overview
Employees1400[citation needed]
Facilities & Equipment
Ambulances15 ALS transport static units with additional dynamic units at peak times

The Kansas City Fire Department provides fire protection, emergency medical service, emergency rescue and hazardous materials response for residents of Kansas City, Missouri. It operates 34 fire stations that are organized into seven battalions and cover 318 square miles (820 km2). The KCFD is made up of 34 Pumper Companies (engines), 12 Truck Companies (aerial ladders), three Rescue Companies (technical rescue), one Haz-Mat Company (hazardous materials), and one ARFF Company (aviation rescue and fire fighting, located at the Kansas City International Airport). Its EMS team is made up of 30 ALS transport ambulances statically deployed from fire stations and additional dynamically deployed ALS transport ambulances (scheduled during peak demand times of each day) under the direction of 8 EMS Assistant Division Chiefs[citation needed]. Per the city charter, the fire department's top manager position is the fire chief, currently Chief Richard “Smokey” Dyer. Additional staffing consists of seven battalion chiefs (incident command response units) and one deputy chief who serves as the city wide shift commander for all fire department activities. The force totals more than 1500[citation needed], and headquarters is located at 635 Woodland Avenue in Kansas City.[1]


One Team. One Job. One Mission.

Union Affiliation[edit]

International Association of Fire Fighters Local 42
Kansas City, MO Chief Officers Association Local 3808


The Kansas City Fire Department first originated with the formation of volunteer bucket brigades as early as 1858. Church bells rung to signal a fire alarm and members would assemble at the scene to help. In 1867, the city abandoned the voluntary bucket brigade for a paid fire department, and Colonel Frank Foster was elected as its first chief.[2] Equipment for the new force included a Silsby rotary engine with hose and two wheeled hose wagons. The new engine arrived by steamer in August and, when tested, was able to throw a stream over the [[Gillis Opera House Gillis Opera House Early 1900's]] at 5th and Main Streets.[citation needed]

The first ladder company was organized in 1869, named McGee Hook and Ladder 1 in honor of former mayor Elijah Milton McGee. The truck was made locally and placed into service in July, 1870.[citation needed] By 1872, the department consisted of three steamers, one hook and ladder, one chemical engine, and 36 paid professional firefighters.[3]

In 1877, not long after the city water works had been established, the city leaders thought that there would be sufficient water pressure to fight fires. The fire chief was ordered to remove all of the steamers from service and reduce the force to only 14 men. Shortly thereafter, there was a disastrous fire in the West Bottoms. The KCFD was only able to respond with hose wagons and suffered from low water pressure. As a result, the entire block was threatened and several buildings were destroyed. The steamers were placed back in service the next day.

In 1882, George C. Hale was appointed Chief of the KCFD, a role he held for 31 years. During this time, the KCFD twice represented the United States as the "American Fire Team" at International Fire Congress: London in 1893 and a Paris exposition in 1900. The London competition simulated a night alarm. The men began the race turned out in bed, had to descend a flight of stairs, harness and hitch the horses, and clear the engine house. The best time in Europe was 77.5 seconds, but was handily beaten in 8.5 seconds by the team from Kansas City. The KCFD fire crew won a similar competition at the National Fireman's Tournament in Omaha in 1898.[1] Hale, once known as the world’s most famous fireman, revolutionized fire fighting with his more than 60 patented firefighting inventions, including the Hale water tower, the swinging (horse) harness, the rotary tin roof cutter, and the telephone fire alarm. Chief Hale remains one of the most revered to ever head the KCFD.[4]

By the 1920s, the fire department had grown to 30 stations and 40 companies. In 1928, the first training school opened and the department was fully motorized. 1940 saw a new beginning for the department with 198 new hires, but manpower was depleted with enlistments for World War II. In 1956, a third platoon was installed.

In August 1959, the Kansas City Fire Department was hit with their largest loss of in the line of duty deaths to date, when a 25,000 gallon gas tank exploded during a fire on Southwest Boulevard killing five firefighters. This was the first time BLEVE was used to describe a burning fuel tank.

On July 17, 1981, the department responded to the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse, which killed 113 people during a tea dance.

On November 29, 1988, the fire department was struck with another tragedy when an ammonium nitrate explosion killed six fire fighters.[2] The memorial service at Arrowhead Stadium received over 5,000 fire fighters in attendance from the United States and around the world. As a result of this tragedy, a hazardous materials team was created and named HazMat 71 in honor of the companies, Pumpers 30 and 41, that lost men in the explosion.

In 1991, the Firefighters Fountain was dedicated at 31st Street and Broadway in Penn Valley Park to all firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty throughout the city’s history.[2][3]

In 1997, after an audit of the fleet showed aging apparatus, the KCFD made history when they purchased 44 fire rescue vehicles (a total fleet replacement) from Emergency One, and have gone on to do this twice since.[citation needed]

On April 25, 2010, Kansas City's ambulance service, Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust ("MAST") merged into the Kansas City Fire Department.

KCFD Station Directory[edit]

Station number, Address, Zip code, Neighborhood[5]

1 15480 Hangar Road 64147 Richards-Gebauer AFB

3 11101 North Oak Trafficway 64155 Nashua

4 4000 NW 64th Street 64151 Line Creek

5 173 N Ottawa Avenue 64153 KCI

6 2600 NE Parvin Road 64117 Avondale

7 616 West Pennway Street 64108 Westside

8 1517 Locust Street 64108 Crossroads

10 1505 E. 9th Street 64106 Columbus Park

14 8300 N. Brighton Avenue 64119 Maple Woods

16 9205 NW 112th Street 64153 TWA Overhaul Base

17 3401 The Paseo 64109 Linwood

18 3211 Indiana Avenue 64129 Ingleside

19 550 W. 43rd Street 64111 Westport

23 4777 Independence Avenue 64124 Northeast

24 2039 Hardesty Avenue 64127 Van Brunt

25 401 E. Missouri Avenue 64106 City Market

27 6600 E. Truman Road 64126 East Blue Valley

28 930 E. Red Bridge Road 64131 Red Bridge

29 1414 E. 63rd Street 64110 Brookside

30 7534 Prospect Avenue 64132 Marlborough

33 7504 E. 67th Street 64133 East Swope Highlands

34 4836 N. Brighton Ave 64119 Winnwood

35 3200 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd 64130 Swope Parkway

36 9903 Holmes Road 64131 Indian Creek

37 7708 Wornall Road 64114 Waldo

38 8100 N. Oak Trafficway 64118 Metro North

39 11100 E. 47th Street 64133 Pittman/Blue Ridge

40 5200 N. Oak Trafficway 64118 Englewood

41 9300 Hillcrest Road 64137 Bannister

42 6006 E. Red Bridge Road 64113 Hickman Mills

43 12900 E. 350 Highway 64138 Knobtown

44 7511 NW Barry Road 64153 Zona Rosa

45 500 E. 131st Court 64146 Martin City

47 5130 Deramus Avenue 64120 East Bottoms


  1. ^ Kansas City, Missouri: its history and its people 1808-1908, Volume 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1908.
  2. ^ a b Cole, Suzanne P.; Engle, Tim; Winkler, Eric (April 23, 2012). "50 things every Kansas Citian should know". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.garden-fountains.com/articles/firefighters-fountain.html


Kansas City Fire Department History and Yearbook

Kansas City Fire Museum, 30 West Pershing Road (Union Station), Kansas City, Missouri

External links[edit]