Fire Department Collection
OverviewThe Early History: The Fire Department is the oldest organized Fire Department on Cape Cod. On March 7, 1836, the Town voted to buy the “Washington,” its first pumper. The “Washington” served the Town for 40 years and is on exhibit at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. In 1859, the Board of Fire Engineers was formed with E.G. Loring as Chief. That year, the first Rescue Hook and Ladder Truck was also purchased. Still owned by the Town are Ulysses Pumper No. 1 (purchased in 1869) and Franklin Pumper No. 2 (1871). Both are currently housed in the Johnson Street Fire House. A Volunteer Fire Department: The Provincetown Fire Department is one of only two all-volunteer Fire Departments left on Cape Cod. Volunteer service to the Town is often a multi-generational commitment. Some of the members represent families that are second, third and fourth generation firefighters. The membership of this department has historically been made up of fishing and trades men and women of the Provincetown community: carpenters, plumbers, electricians, owners and employees of the local appliance, gas, oil and insurance companies. Today, the high cost of living and especially the lack of affordable, year-round housing, threatens the continued existence of the department’s ability to recruit and maintain a large pool of multi-talented volunteers who are able to quickly and professionally respond to the often very dangerous call to a fire. The photographs in this collection have been brought together from many sources including the Fire Department Archives, the Town’s Heritage Collection and several private collections.