Derby Fire and Rescue started as a volunteer department in 1952 with 13 volunteers. It has been operating as a full-time city department since 2005, after more than 50 years of service from the volunteer department. Fire Chief Brad Smith came on board in 2004 to help establish the groundwork for full-time staff. Chief Smith retired in 2019 and was replaced by Fire Chief John Turner. In addition to the Fire Chief, there is a Deputy Fire Chief, 27 full-time firefighters, 11 part-time firefighters, and 17 volunteers.
In July 2019, Derby Fire Station No. 81, located at Madison and Woodlawn at the former site of the Derby Sixth Grade Center, opened its doors. The station is has nearly 21,000 square feet and cost $6.5 million.
In 2022, Derby Fire & Rescue celebrated its 70th Anniversary. A special event was held at the Hubbard Arts Center in cooperation with the Derby Historical Museum.
In October 2023, the department opened its first Fire Training Facility on Buckner St. The training facility was also supported my Mulvane Fire and is designed for firefighters from across the region. The first training held there was on Oct. 15, 2023.
The department continues the tradition of outstanding service to the citizens of Derby by delivering fire protection, medical first response service, fire prevention education, and fire safety inspections in the community. The department ensures the highest level of training needed to keep fire personnel prepared for any event. In addition, volunteer firefighters are utilized to provide service in a backup capacity to the city’s full-time staff.
Derby Star Article (Sept. 1956)