History of the Department

The origins of organized fire protection in Woodland can be traced to a series of fires in 1868-69, which focused the attention of the citizenry on the dangers of the "fiery element".

A group of interested citizens joined together to create "some kind of Fire Department". Their efforts resulted in the formation of the Woodland Hook and Ladder Company in August of 1870. Members of this group pulled their ladder wagon to fires and used buckets to apply water to the fire. This method was frequently ineffective in stopping the spread of flames, but the ladders allowed Ladder Company members to assist in removing contents from the homes before they were destroyed.

Citizens soon decided that they needed a fire engine to assist their efforts. In May of 1875, the Woodland Fire Department was re-organized to include the Hook and Ladder Company and the newly formed Engine and Hose Company, both to serve under one Chief.

The City ordered a new steam fire engine for the Engine Company, and in April of 1876 it arrived along with a hose cart and 500 feet of hose. With the addition of this equipment, the City had achieved a level of protection that would remain essentially unchanged until the 1920's.

The Woodland Fire Department entered the modern age of fire protection in 1924 when it took delivery of two brand new American LaFrance motorized engines. It was also during this time that firefighters were beginning to utilize more scientific methods in fire extinguishment, fire investigation, and fire prevention. As Woodland grew, so did the Fire Department, in size, and in its ability to handle the growing fire problem.

In 1982 the Department merged with the Springlake Fire Protection District. We now protect an area in excess of 60 square miles. With modern equipment and training we are able to face challenges ranging from fires, medical emergencies, and vehicle accidents, to hazardous material spills and confined-space rescues.

Since its inception over 125 years ago, the Woodland Fire Department has continued to grow and evolve into an organization which is responsive to the need for change. As we enter the next century, we are proud of our history, and we look to the future.