Ladder 1

picture of Ladder 1

Photo by JJG


History of Ladder # 1

Ladder Company #1 was organized in 1846 in the quarters of Engine 2 on Main St, near Windsor. The Company, using a hand drawn ladder carriage, was named "Franklin Hook and Ladder 1." Engine 2, sharing the same quarters, at that time was known as "Union Engine Company 2." In 1864, Ladder 1 was modernized with the purchase of horses.

On October 1, 1874, the Company was relocated to the new city building at 5 Western Av., Central Square. Here, Hook & Ladder 1 shared quarters with the newly organized "Supply Hose Company #1." Ladder 1 moved to the new city building at 108 Mount Auburn St., Brattle Square, on July 1, 1880.

In 1890, the Company received a new Abbot and Downing ladder carriage. In 1918, a new American LaFrance motorized truck, with a 75’ aerial ladder, was placed in service.

Present Location: On Feb. 25, 1934, Ladder 1 moved to its present quarters at 491 Broadway. On March 1, 1935, a new Pirsch tractor trailer with an 85’ aerial was placed in service. This aerial ladder truck was all hydraulically-mechanically operated, one of the first of its kind in North America. The Company ran with this piece of apparatus until 1946, when a new, 1946 tractor trailer with 100’ aerial was placed in service. In 1965, a new 1965 International/Cincinnati Cab tractor was placed under the 1946 trailer. Two years later, a new 1967 International/Cincinnati Cab tractor was placed under the 1946 trailer. (The 1965 tractor was mated with Ladder 2’s 1942 trailer and became spare Ladder 5).

Tragically, on Aug 27, 1968, while en route to a fire, Ladder 1 was involved in a traffic accident with a tractor trailer truck at the intersection Cambridge Street and Prospect Street. One member received fatal injuries and another was severely injured. The apparatus was destroyed. The 1965 tractor/1942 trailer was reassigned to the Company.

On Feb. 18, 1972, an 85’ Sutphen aerial tower was placed in service. The Company designation became "Aerial Tower 1." The Company ran with this apparatus for 14 years. On June 25, 1986, a new, 90’ Sutphen aerial tower was placed in service.

August 29, 1991, "Ladder Company 1" was back in service with a 1976 Seagrave 100’ tractor trailer, 4-door, fully enclosed cab. (This was the former apparatus of Boston Ladder 7). The Sutphen tower was reassigned to Ladder 2.  A new Pierce rear-mount (Smeal aerial device) with fully-enclosed four-door cab, was placed in service on June 28, 1992.  On November 10, 2009, Ladder Company No. 1 placed in service a Pierce Arrow XT 105’ rear-mount, 4-door, fully enclosed cab.  

Today: Ladder Company No. 1’s present apparatus, a Pierce Arrow XT, was placed in service on November 30, 2018. This piece is a 2018 Pierce Ascendant, 107' rear-mount aerial ladder with TAK-4 T3 rear steering.

Currently, there are 17 members on the roster of Ladder Company #1. This includes the captain, 3 lieutenants, and 13 firefighters.

The Company shares quarters at 491 Broadway with Engine Company No. 1 and Rescue Company No. 1.

For questions about Ladder Company #1, email the Captain of Ladder 1 Here:

Historical information provided by Ed Morrissey and Jack Gelinas.

Ladder # 1 Statistics

Calendar Year Responses Building Fires
2017  2026 43
2016 2000 45
2015 2005 52
2014 2005 56
2013 1774 60
Fiscal Year Responses Building Fires
2012/2013 1922 59
2011/2012 1626 56
2010/2011 2095 58
2009/2010 1916 78
2008/2009 2172 70