History of the Department

History of the Dixon Fire Department

The Dixon Fire Department was originally organized in 1871, as individual fire companies serving the town of Dixon. With equipment consisting of hand drawn hose carts, and a ladder truck, firefighters responded to fires within the City limits. Rural residents, outside of the City, with the aid of their immediate neighbors, had to handle any fires in the remote areas, as it was impractical to move the hand drawn equipment long distances to rural fires. Even if the fire apparatus could be transported to the rural fires, it would not be effective without a municipal water system to feed the hoses. Modern farming equipment, operating on steam and later gasoline, allowed local farms and their operations to grow. The frequency of fire and its devastation increased with the new machinery and increased population in the country.

With the coming of the automobile, rural firefighting was becoming a possibility. In the early 1920's, the local agricultural districts maintained a small truck, which was equipped with chemical fire extinguishers, buckets, shovels, and other firefighting equipment. This truck was housed in town at a local store and was available for use by any rural resident. In the event of a fire, the property owner would need to go to town or arrange for someone to bring the truck to the fire.

The Dixon Fire Department is operated by the City of Dixon, which is located in the geographical center of the Fire District. With its eighteen full-time, two clerical, eleven volunteers, the Department provides 24-hour a day coverage with firefighters housed in the station for immediate response. Equipment consists of three engines, two brush engine, one ladder truck, two water tenders, one rescue squad, three command vehicles, and one utility vehicles. Today, the District purchases basic fire service from the City by contractual agreement. This allows both agencies to eliminate unnecessary duplication of equipment. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rated the Department in 1993, at which time the fire rating was upgraded from Class 7 to a Class 5, resulting in improved insurance rates for the residents and businesses. Areas within the District without fire hydrants continue to receive the maximum allowable rating of Class 9, 10.