The Frisco Fire Department was established in 1914, with Roy Northcutt serving as its first chief. Ben McAtee, Jewell McIntire, Billy Phillips, Donnie Mayfield, Melvin Mann, Randy "Chip" Barton, Harold Bacchus, Mack Borchardt and current Chief Mark Piland have served in that role. All of Frisco's fire chiefs have dedicated their time and efforts to improving the emergency response capabilities of the Frisco Fire Department.
The first fire truck was a 1918 Ford Model "T." The truck's brass bell has been preserved and is on display at the department's Central Fire Station.
In September 1922, a fire devastated most of Frisco's downtown. This landmark incident illustrated the need for improved firefighting capabilities to protect the lives and property of the Frisco citizens. Following this fire, a warning siren was purchased for $90 and mounted on top of Frisco's only two-story building located at the corner of Fourth and Main. This siren warned residents of tornadoes and other threatening weather, as well as alerted volunteer firefighters of reported fires and the need for them to respond.
Additional equipment was purchased through funds raised by the volunteer firefighters at events such as barn dances, waffle suppers and raffles. A second fire truck was purchased in 1923, a Stutz Bearcat, which had a siren and carried hoses to fight fire with water rather than chemicals. In 1940 a new Ford Pumper was acquired at a cost of $3,500. In 2004, the department purchased Engine 605 for more than $492,000 -- plus firefighting, hydraulic equipment and medical supplies.
Today's department has 178 paid personnel and 12 volunteer firefighters, many of whom have EMT or paramedic certifications.
There are 24 computerized Outdoor Warning Sirens located throughout the city, providing severe weather and emergency alerts. Firefighters are now dispatched by a state-of-the-art computer-aided system known as CAD. In late 2006, Frisco's new Central Fire Station and Frisco Fire Safety Town were completed. Frisco Fire Station #7 was opened in June 2012, with architectural planning now underway for Fire Station #8.
The department continues to serve the City of Frisco and neighboring communities by providing a variety of services ranging from Firefighting and Fire Prevention, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Swift Water and High Angle Rescue, Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response, and that promote fire and injury prevention.
In 2001, The Frisco Fire Department earned an ISO Rating of #1. The FFD was one of only 36 departments in the United States to have this distinction at the time.
While the Frisco Fire Department and its faces have changed over the years, a new generation of firefighters remain dedicated to the department’s mission to protect lives, property and the environment – and to promote public safety education for the good of all of us who call Frisco “home.”