SAULT STE. MARIE, MI – Our twin city is home to a fire department that is over 135 years old.
With a current complement of 18 full-time firefighters, of which many are also paramedics the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department has come a long way since 1884.
The Central Fire Station has stood on Ridge St. since 1907 after two fires hit the city in 1886 and 1896.
After a couple of fires in 1886 and 1896, it was decided to build a central fire station. The current fire station on Ridge Street was built in 1907 it cost less than $13,000. Aside from an addition in 1978, it has remained the same ever since.
Horse-Drawn firefighting equipment and volunteer firefighters were the norms for this department until sometime in the 1920s. The city commission authorized the sale of the last fire horse in 1932.
According to Fire Chief Scott LaBonte, the department now provides more than just firefighting services to the community.
“Other than firefighting, the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department also offers advanced Life Support (ALS) transport services to city residents,” said LaBonte. “As well as paramedic/ALS assistance to other ambulance agencies in Chippewa county who offer only basic or limited EMS services.”
LaBonte noted they do have a mutual aid agreement in place with Sault Fire Services and have asked for equipment from their counterparts in Canada a handful of times in the past decade.
The upper part of the historic fire hall remains off-limits to citizens due to COVID-19 but is normally available for tours.
In case of emergency, you are encouraged to call 911 to have firefighters and paramedics attend.