Engine 1

Engine 1

2007 Pierce Saber Rescue Pumper- 1250 gpm pump - 500 gallon water tank

Photo by Brian Higgins

History of Engine 1

Engine 1, called "Cambridge 1," was organized in 1832 and was located in a building on Church Street, near Harvard Square. In 1854, the company moved to new quarters adjacent to the police district station on Church Street.

On 20 June 1859, a new Hunneman hand Engine was placed in service by the company. During 1864, the house was remodeled and on 18 September of that year a new Amoskeag 400 gpm steamer and a Hunneman 2-wheel hose carriage with 900’ of hose were placed in service with Engine 1. On 10 Jan 1872, a new 4-wheel hose wagon built by Jones Company was placed in service carrying 1000’ of hose.

In 1875, Engine Company #1 moved to new quarters in the city building at the corner of Mount Auburn and Eliot Street (where the Harvard House Hotel is now located). On 15 March 1883, a new steamer built by Manchester Locomotive works was placed in service. During 1885, Engine 1’s quarters was renovated. The living quarters was moved to the second floor and the city’s first sliding pole was installed.

In 1890, a new Abbot and Downing hose wagon was placed in service. In November of 1921, Engine 1 was motorized when the company placed a new American LaFrance 750 gpm pump and a new American LaFrance hose wagon in service. Engine 1 was the last horse-drawn engine company in the city . (Ladder 2 was the last horse-drawn company).

In 1928, Engine 1’s quarters was condemned and Engine 1 relocated to the quarters of Engine 6 at 176 River Street. On 25 February 1934, Engine 1 moved to new quarters at 491 Broadway. The 491 Broadway fire house is the current home of Engine 1.

In January of 1940, a new Pirsch 1000 gpm pump was placed in service. In July, 1948, a new GMC/Robinson hose wagon was placed in service. In 1960, the 1947 fog wagon, previously in service with Rescue 1, was placed in service with Engine 1. Engine 1 became a 3-piece company and remained so for a few years. Also in November of 1960, the company placed a new 1000 gpm Pirsch pump in service.

On 23 December 1962, Engine 1 placed in service as the pump, the 1948 Pirsch 1000 gpm formerly assigned to Engine 6. In July of 1966, a new International/Farrar hose wagon was assigned to the company. On 14 October 1971, a new Maxim, 1250 gpm pump with 300 gallons of water was placed in service as the pump. On 3 July 1977, a new 1000 gpm American LaFrance pump with 55’ Squrt articulating boom was placed in service as the wagon. This piece was lettered as "Tower Wagon 1."

Engine 1 became single-unit on 6 May 1980. The Maxim pump was reassigned to Engine 8. On May of 1984, the American LaFrance Tower Wagon was placed out of service for refurbishing. It returned to service on 31 October 1984. The company ran with a spare pump during this time period. On 9 July 1991, a 1979 Continental 1250 gpm (former Engine 5/Engine 9) was assigned to the company. The American LaFrance Squrt Tower Wagon was placed out of service.

Engine 1 placed a Pierce Saber, 1250 gpm pump, with 500 gallon water tank, in service on 24 December 1996. The rebuilt Squrt boom from the former Tower Wagon was mounted on this new pump.

Engine 1’s current apparatus is the 2007 Pierce 1250 gpm pump with 500 gallon water tank.

On November 19, 2009, Engine 1 became a Paramedic Engine Company. At least one Paramedic and one EMT Basic will be assigned to the company at all times.

For questions about Engine Company #1, contact the captain of Engine 1 Here:

Historical information provided by Ed Morrissey

Engine # 1 Statistics
Calendar Year Responses Building Fires
2019  2344 39
2018 2289 37
2017  2330 36
2016 2300 34
2015 2455 46
2014 2403 38
2013 2546 45
Fiscal Year Responses Building Fires
2012/2013 2550 49
2011/2012 1918 39
2010/2011 2513 47
2009/2010 2090 52
2008/2009 2372 60