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City of Derby News Releases

Posted on: September 1, 2022

Derby Fire & Rescue Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Fire and Rescue 70 years

Derby Fire & Rescue is celebrating 70 years of service in 2022. A public celebration event will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Derby Historical Museum, 710 E. Market St. to mark the occasion. 

There will be a formal ceremony starting at 10:15 a.m. with a reading of the anniversary proclamation, comments by Mayor Randy White and Fire Chief John Turner, introduction of Derby firefighters past and present, and presentation of the 2022 Firefighter of the Year Award. This will take place in The Gallery inside the Hubbard Arts Center located just north of the museum. 

Tours will be available of the Derby Historical Museum, which includes a first responders room dedicated to the history of the Derby Fire & Rescue, the Derby Police Department and volunteer EMS. 

The Fire Safety Smoke House, fire engines, and spray house will be set up. Attendees will be able to enjoy free hot dogs and drinks and get photos with Sparky the Fire Dog among other things. 

In case of inclement weather, most activities will be moved inside the Hubbard Arts Center and Historical Museum.  

A little history
The volunteer department started with 13 volunteer firefighters in 1952. It transitioned to a full-time department in 2005. Fire Chief Brad Smith was hired in 2004 to establish the groundwork for full-time staff. Chief Smith retired in 2019 and Fire Chief John Turner was hired to take over the department. In addition to the Fire Chief, there is a Deputy Fire Chief, 27 full-time firefighters, 11 part-time firefighters, and 17 volunteers.

The department continues the tradition of outstanding service to the citizens of Derby by delivering fire protection, medical first response service, fire prevention education, and fire safety inspections in the community. The department ensures the highest level of training needed to keep fire personnel prepared for any event. In addition, volunteer firefighters are utilized to provide service in a backup capacity to the city’s full-time staff.

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