On May 6, 1890, the Hutchinson Fire Department became organized and garnered full-time status with 3 firefighters responding from then Station #1 on West Sherman Avenue. After spending $564 on a new hose wagon, the newly organized department made its first official run on May 14, 1890. Six days after its inception, it had its first incident for a horse stable fire on Maple Street with an estimated loss of $20. In February of 1914, the department saw the passing of the horse-drawn era in Hutchinson. This is when “Harry” and “Clyde” the last of the fire horses were retired and replaced with a motorized fire engine. Station #2 was established in September 1908 in the back of the Stamey Hotel, this station was the first of its kind only housing motorized fire apparatus and never having horse drawn equipment. Station #2 was then moved in 1920 to 12 West 6th. Fast forward to November 15, 1950 - HFD was adding its fifth full-time station on the southwest corner of the Kansas State Fairgrounds. When the HFD was organized, firefighters were living in the stations on-duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It was not until June 1, 1936 that a 2-platoon system was adopted by the city to allow 2-24-hour shifts to rotate crews.
Currently, the HFD operates 6 stations strategically located throughout the city, manned by 91 sworn personnel split into 3 shifts. The department protects a population of 50,000+ people, within the City of Hutchinson and Reno County Fire District #2, that has a total response area of 108 square miles. The HFD also provides mutual aid response to all surrounding counties when requested. The HFD is an "all hazards" emergency service. We offer experienced, trained, and equipped crews to effectively deal with all fire, medical, man-made, and natural disaster emergencies that occur within its response area. Our service is comparable to those of the largest city fire departments in that services rendered to the community include quality fire prevention, code enforcement, public education programs, origin and cause fire investigations, effective and efficient fire suppression, basic emergency medical tandem response with Reno County EMS, hazardous material mitigation, command teams, and technical rescue. These responsibilities lead us to have an average call volume of 5,200 calls annually with a general increase in call volume each year. The HFD also actively participates in emergency assistance organizations in South Central Kansas Region, such as Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 and Fire Operations Resource Coordination (FORCe). All these disciplines focus on public safety and a better quality of life. While steeped in its vast tradition, the department embraces continuous improvement and being proactive in all its operations. It remains focused on the future through understanding the power of a strategic approach versus a reactive approach. The HFD shares a commonality with its community, understanding the needs and delivery the quality level of services demanded.