Just over a month after the Committee on the Fire Department published recommendations in the Stamford Advocate for a partially paid (call) Fire Department for the Borough, the Board of Wardens and Burgesses publish the required ordinances that establish the “first” Stamford Fire Department.

There are a few differences between the original proposal and what the Ordinances define, but the establishment of rules for an organized  Fire Department are well defined.

Highlights of the 1885 Fire Department Ordinances

The Fire Department shall consist of a Chief Engineer and two or more Assistant Engineers who oversee the various Engine, Hook & Ladder, and Hose companies as the borough see fit.

Steam Fire Engine Companies shall consist of a Captain, an Engineman, an Assistant Engineman, two drivers, and twelve men each.

Hook and Ladder Companies shall consist of a Captain, one driver, and ten men.

Hose Companies consist of a Foreman, Assistant Forman, and a number of men as prescribed by the Borough.

The Chief Engineer and Assistant Chief Engineer shall be elected and hold office as prescribed in the Charter.  Together, they shall establish the Board of Fire Control within ten days from their election.

The senior Assistant Chief Engineer shall fill for the Chief Engineer in his absence.

The Board of Fire Control shall make and publish rules and regulations as required.  However, the rules and regulations must be approved by the Board of Wardens and Burgesses.

All Officers and members of the Fire Department, except the Chief and the Assistants, may be nominated for election by the Board of Fire Control but serve at the pleasure of Board of Wardens and Burgesses.

The members of the Fire Department must follow the orders of the Chief Engineer.

The Chief Engineer shall submit an Annual Report to the Board of Wardens and Burgesses.

The Chief Engineer shall submit quarterly reports on the payroll of any paid personnel.

When on duty, the Chief Engineer and his assistants may each carry a speaking trumpet and shall wear a badge to distinguish them from other officers and members.

Each member of the Department, within 10 days of their election to the Department, shall deposit the sum of one dollar for which a badge and membership shall be issued.

No engine or other property belonging to the Borough shall be taken out of the Borough unless the rules set forth by the Board of Wardensares are met.  And at no time shall more than one engine leaves the Brough at any time.

No engine or other apparatus shall be taken out of their respective houses, except for an alarm of fire or at the direction of the Chief Engineer.

No gambling is permitted in any building owned by the Fire Department.

No intoxicating liquors shall be allowed in any b building owned by the Fire Department. Intoxication while “on duty” is not permitted.


A beloved member of the Volunteer Fire Departments was “elected” as the first Chief Engineer of the newly organized Stamford Fire Department.  His name was Richard Bolster.  Michael J McIntyre and George Bowman were named as his Assistant Engineers.