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Archived News Release from 2011

For Immediate Release

Kick-Off for Redwood City Fire Department’s 150th Anniversary

Redwood City, CA - This year brings a truly remarkable anniversary to Redwood City – it’s the sesquicentennial of the Redwood City Fire Department!  To kick-off the celebration of 150 years of dedicated public safety, the Fire Department is holding a news conference on Monday, January 24 at 11 am, in front of Fire Station #9, 755 Marshall Street in Downtown Redwood City. Marshall Street will be closed for a short period so that both historic and new firefighting apparatus can be parked on the street to represent this monumental occasion. Parking for this event is available in the Marshall Street Garage, by entering from Broadway.

At this news conference, Mayor Jeff Ira and Redwood City Fire Department Chief Jim Skinner will officially kick-off the Department’s Sesquicentennial, including a 150th Anniversary Commemorative Badge exchange for all City firefighters, an overview of the history of the department, an outline of the upcoming community events to mark the anniversary, and the opportunity to see some historic fire-fighting equipment that was in use throughout the history of this venerable fire department. Refreshments will be provided.

As part of the sesquicentennial celebration, the Fire Department will be participating with historic equipment, photos, video, and more at many City events including the 4th of July parade and festival, at Movies on the Square during the summer, family events on the Square and on Theatre Way, the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, National Night Out in August, the December Hometown Holidays, and other City events and festivals. And, the community will be invited to buy tickets to and join with firefighters at a very special Sesquicentennial Firefighters Ball taking place on August 13th at the historic Fox Theater in Downtown Redwood City.

It was 1861 when the Redwood City Fire Department first came into being, six years before the City itself was even incorporated. America was in the midst of a civil war, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States, it was the final year of the Pony Express mail service, and the territories of Nevada and Colorado were created. Against that historic backdrop, the “Redwood City Fire Company No. 1” was formed for the protection of the community, which at that time numbered less than 2,000 people. The first Redwood City Firehouse was built on Main Street in 1862. Today, the Redwood City Fire Department consists of five fire stations housing five engines and one truck, and currently has over 70 staff members including firefighters, firefighter/paramedics, captains and battalion chiefs, fire prevention staff, training staff, and administrative staff, all in service of a core population of over 75,000 people, as well as to provide mutual aid to other communities nearby.

The media and the community are invited to join Mayor Ira at the news conference on January 24, 2011, to kick-off the 150th Anniversary of the Redwood City Fire Department. The Redwood City Fire Department’s website is

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at


Redwood City Fire Department Chief Jim Skinner or On Duty Battalion Chiefs


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