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History

1892
Informally the Kent Fire Department is established with S.D. Miller as Fire Chief.

1900
Fire hydrants are installed within the city. The first major commercial fire destroys Fred’s Saloon. Fred’s Saloon is a total loss but the neighboring buildings are spared thanks to the new hydrants.

1912
Kent Volunteer Fire Department is officially organized with 27 men. J.E. Hayward is appointed Fire Chief.

1914
A major fire destroys a hotel, bakery, shoe shop, second hand store, and the town livery stable.

1917
First motorized fire apparatus is purchased, a Maxwell Chemical fire truck. The days of horse and hand drawn apparatus come to a close.

1924
The Kent Volunteer Fire Department is reorganized as the Kent Fire Department under the direction of Ben York. This is the beginning of the city department. Charlie Botting is the first City of Kent Fire Chief; later in 1924 Roy Crause was appointed Fire Chief.

1925
A $5,000 bond issue allows the department to purchase a new Howard Cooper 350 gallons per minute (gpm) fire engine with 600 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose.

1927
Charles “Brick” Bridges is appointed Fire Chief; he would go on to serve in that capacity for 37 years. Chief Bridges begins the practice of safety inspections of public and commercial establishments.

1929
Emergency Medical Service provided for the first time. A Dodge sedan is purchased to double as an emergency vehicle.

1936
The city begins to provide service outside of its boundaries. The Kent Fire Department is one of the first fire departments to provide rural fire protection in Washington.

1940
In response to a catastrophic fire that nearly destroyed Washington Frosted Foods a 600 gpm Seagraves fire engine is purchased.

1948
King County Fire District 37 (FD37) is formed with a $50.00 loan from the City of Kent.

1952
Donations from the community are used to purchase a panel truck to operate as a vehicle to provide emergency medical services.

1954
A Kenworth 1250 gpm fire engine is added to the fleet. It would stay in service for over 25 years.

1964
A bond issue is passed allowing the department to build two new fire stations and purchase two new Crown Coach engines.

1965
The Kent City Council hires its first paid staff consisting of two chief officers and ten firefighters. Tom Foster is named Fire Chief for the City of Kent and Murdock McLane is appointed Fire Chief for FD37.

1968
Dale Freelove becomes the new Fire Chief of FD37.

1974
Kent Fire Department and FD37 contract together to operate as a single entity, thus cutting operating costs. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes are offered to residents for the first time. Portions of Fire District 30 are annexed into Kent.

The first Opticoms are installed in Kent, allowing fire apparatus to control signal lights when responding to 911 calls. This improved safety for department staff and residents alike.

1981
Fire Chief Norm Angelo replaces retiring Fire Chief Foster.

1985
Department moves to three person’ engine companies. The number of alarms exceeds 5,000 for the first time.

1986
Fire District #37 funded and built new fire station 75 located on SE 272nd Street.

Public Safety Bond Issue in the amount of $12.3 million is passed. Funding from the Public Safety Bond Issue allowed for the replacement of station 73 and station 76; remodeling of station 71; addition of new fire station 74 including a new training center and drill tower; new apparatus maintenance facility behind station 76; and the purchase of new apparatus.

1990
Computer work stations are installed and incident reports are completed electronically.

1992
The number of alarms exceeds 10,000.

1998
Department signs contract to provide apparatus maintenance with other jurisdictions.

2002
Jim Schneider is named Fire Chief. The Kent Fire Department begins work towards becoming an accredited agency.

Fire station #77 on 132nd Avenue SE is replaced.

2004
Department is accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

2009
The first fire station to be opened in the Covington city limits, Station 78, opens on SE 256th Street.

2010
The Fire Department moves into the new Emergency Management office space located next to the Fire Administration and Training facility.

Voters overwhelmingly approved (72%) the formation of the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority, including instituting a fire benefit charge.

2011
The department begins contracting with the City of SeaTac to provide Fire Prevention services, including code enforcement, fire investigation, public education, and plans review.

2012
The number of alarms exceeds 17,000.

2013
The City of SeaTac City Council and the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority Governance Board approved a 20 year contract for services. Beginning January 1, 2014, the Kent Fire Department RFA will provide all fire department services to the City of SeaTac.

Logistics Division moved to their new facility in the Kent valley during the fall, after outgrowing the former space at Station 77. The warehouse space will allow Logistics to operate more efficiently as they oversee much of the department’s firefighting equipment and supplies, negotiate contracts for services, and work to be as cost effective as possible.

2014
The SeaTac Fire Department joins the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority through contract. The Kent Fire Department RFA now protects the cities of Kent, SeaTac, and Covington as well as King County Fire District 37. This is a response area of approximately 60 square miles and over 177,000 residents.

King County Fire District 20, which covers the Skyway area, and the Renton Fire Department join the South King County Fire Training Consortium in a move which benefits not only those two departments, but all the members within the training consortium.

2015
Valley Regional Fire Authority joins the South King County Fire Training Consortium.

2016
Vashon Island Fire and Rescue and King County Fire District #28 (Enumclaw) join the South King County Fire Training Consortium.The ten-department consortium provides a large pool of resources that offer exceptional training opportunities to all personnel, which translates to excellent service delivery to citizens and visitors in the communities throughout South King County.

South King County Fire Training Consortium Member Departments:
Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority
Maple Valley Fire Department
Tukwila Fire Department
Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department
North Highline Fire Department
King County Fire District #20 (Skyway)
Renton Regional Fire Authority
Valley Regional Fire Authority
Vashon Island Fire and Rescue
King County Fire District #28 (Enumclaw)

2017
The Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority changes its name to Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority to better encompass the areas the organization serves.

Fire Chief Matt Morris replaces retiring Fire Chief Jim Schneider.