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History of the Department

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History of the Dixon Fire Department

The Dixon Fire Department was originally organized in 1871, as individual fire companies serving the town of Dixon. With equipment consisting of hand drawn hose carts, and a ladder truck, firefighters responded to fires within the City limits. Rural residents, outside of the City, with the aid of their immediate neighbors, had to handle any fires in the remote areas, as it was impractical to move the hand drawn equipment long distances to rural fires. Even if the fire apparatus could be transported to the rural fires, it would not be effective without a municipal water system to feed the hoses. Modern farming equipment, operating on steam and later gasoline, allowed local farms and their operations to grow. The frequency of fire and its devastation increased with the new machinery and increased population in the country.

With the coming of the automobile, rural firefighting was becoming a possibility. In the early 1920's, the local agricultural districts maintained a small truck, which was equipped with chemical fire extinguishers, buckets, shovels, and other firefighting equipment. This truck was housed in town at a local store and was available for use by any rural resident. In the event of a fire, the property owner would need to go to town or arrange for someone to bring the truck to the fire.

The Dixon Fire Department is operated by the City of Dixon, which is located in the geographical center of the Fire District. With its eighteen full-time, two clerical, forty volunteer and one code compliance members, the Department provides 24-hour a day coverage with firefighters housed in the station for immediate response. Equipment consists of three engines, one brush engine, one ladder truck, two water tenders, one rescue squad, three command vehicles, and one utility vehicles. Today, the District purchases basic fire service from the City by contractual agreement. This allows both agencies to eliminate unnecessary duplication of equipment. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rated the Department in 1993, at which time the fire rating was upgraded from Class 7 to a Class 5, resulting in improved insurance rates for the residents and businesses. Areas within the District without fire hydrants continue to receive the maximum allowable rating of Class 8.

The Dixon Siren

Have you ever been doing yard work on a hot summer’s day when all of a sudden there is the loud shrills of a siren coming from downtown? Or it is the middle of the night and there’s that loud shrill sound of a siren again, piercing the night air.

Well that sound that you here at all hours of the day is actually a fire alarm siren that the Dixon Fire Department uses to notify fire department members that they need to respond to the fire station.

In the early days (1871) firefighters didn’t have anyway to know there was a fire, so in those early days large bells were used to notify fire department members that their services were needed in town for an emergency. The Dixon Fire Departments original bell is on display at the front of its current location.

As time went on and the towns grew bigger, technology caught up with the fire service and the use of sirens became popular. A dispatcher would receive the call for service and then reach over and touch a button setting off the siren to notify all members that they were needed. The siren was much louder than the original bell and could notify farmers out in the country.

Today the siren is integrated into the 911 emergency systems. Fire department personnel carry pagers. How ever the siren still plays an important role whenever there is a structure fire or large grass fire.

In the old days the bell and the siren went off for every call, today the siren only sounds when there is a very large incident, recalling volunteer and off-duty firefighters to respond. So when you hear those siren sounds, know that your Dixon Firefighters are working hard and doing what they do best.

Helping people



Andi Horigan
Administrative Manager

205 Ford Way
Dixon, CA 95620
Click for map

Ph: (707) 678-7060
Fx: (707) 678-4251

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm, excluding holidays

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