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Bloomington Briefing

Published monthly, the award-winning Bloomington Briefing is mailed to all single-family households and businesses.

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Fire staff 1954
A timeline: Bloomington Fire history 1950s – 1960s

Throughout the year, the City will present a timeline of Bloomington Fire Department history. Here are highlights from 1954 – 1969.

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1954 - A new addition increased the size of Fire Station 1.

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1958 - The fire department went into a 24-hour dispatch system in conjunction with the police department.

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1959 - The fire department had 46 members.

A garage was converted into Fire Station 2.

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1961 - Three major fires in one day—a house exploded from a natural gas leak, Lueger Boat Works had more than $50,000 in damages, and GEM Furniture Store burned in a total loss.

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1967 - Purchased a complete sprinkler system from a soon-to-be destroyed building for training.

New Fire Station 2 and 3 built.

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1969 - A training tower was built behind the addition of Fire Station 1.

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Bloomington Fire Department 75th anniversary: Fire trucks then and now

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published January 31, 2022
Updated on February 3, 2022
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Rescue is a fundamental function for fire departments. To perform in this role, firefighters use lots of equipment, including their iconic fire engines. It’s interesting to see how these trucks have advanced over the years.

Then in the 1940s …

In the photograph above, the truck in the center is one of the first trucks BFD acquired. It was a 1946 Ford truck that had been retrofitted with a 250-gallons-per-minute pump and a 500-gallon water tank.

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Now in the 2020s …

Pictured left, is the newest fire engine, Engine 1. It is a 2020 Custom Rosenbauer General with a 2,000-gallons-per-minute pump and a 750-gallon water tank.

Then and now, Bloomington’s fire engines have proven their worth to our firefighters as they put out all manner of strucural, vehicular, brush, trash and other types of fires. As the fire threats changed and building structures became larger and taller, so did the specialization of the fire engines.

As BFD celebrates 75 years of service in 2022, look in the Briefing for monthly stories about the BFD.