The City of Roswell Fire Department was founded in 1889 beginning with 40 leather buckets and one 16 foot ladder. Local businessman Nathan Jaffa was elected as the first fire chief and eight men were enrolled as volunteer firemen.
Their first duty was digging wells at the street corners. At that time
the water table was four to five feet below the surface and water could
be bailed from the well and handed up to form a bucket brigade.
The department has changed considerably since those early days; currently there are 93 full-time employees, along with 1 office employee. These employees work out of six fire stations, one administration building, and a fire training center. In 2018, the department responded to 9,244 fire-related calls for service, along with 7,943 EMS calls.
The Fire department responds on a vast array of incidents including;
structure fires, grass and fires, hazardous materials incidents, motor
vehicle accidents, high and low angle rope rescue, swift water rescue,
public assist calls, as well as medical emergencies. Our primary
response obligation is to the City of Roswell, but the department also
has a mutual aid agreement with Chaves County. The department will
respond to medical calls in the county, fires at county schools and
churches, or any time one of the county fire departments requests help.
The county volunteer departments also reciprocate by assisting the
Roswell Fire Department when requested. The department has also
responded to neighboring counties when assistance has been requested.
The department is very proud to be one of the few departments in the
state to maintain an ISO classification rating of 2.