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Department History

On July 22, 1822, the President of the Town of Canton authorized, and required to be enrolled, a suitable number of persons who would become members of the Fire Company of Canton. This was the inception of the Canton Fire Department.

Many things have changed since that time. Horse-drawn fire apparatus were replaced by motorized fire apparatus; heavy leather hose was replaced by light-weight synthetic hose; wood ladders reaching heights of approximately 30 feet were replaced with steel ladders reaching heights of over 100 feet; a handkerchief used to help filter smoke, was replaced by a self-contained breathing apparatus which gave firefighters good air to breath while working inside of a burning building; total darkness inside a burning building was replaced by thermal imaging equipment, which makes objects visible inside that darkness.

These are just a handful of the many changes that have occurred in the Canton Fire Department since 1822. It has been said that fire service is very traditional and is resistant to change. However, life-saving, technological advances have been significant.

Through the years of progress, one common denominator remains, and that is the firefighter. The firefighter of 1822 compares well with the firefighter of today. They confront the same issues - battling the rage of fire and protecting the community they serve. They possess the same qualities - knowledge of the job, love of the job, and the courage to perform the job. The pride of the fire service lives on.

I welcome you to visit our web pages and to learn more about the men and women who exemplify this profession to its highest degree.

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