In 1892, a dedicated group of citizens organized the South Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department. These first individuals ran a hand reel pump with 400 feet of hose and would meet at our first fire station at the intersection of Liberty Street and Seaboard Ave, which at the time did not house our equipment.
In 1909 the department was reorganized and the fire station was relocated to 22nd St. and “B” Street (near the old Rena B. Wright School site).
In 1911, the department secured a horse drawn hose reel. The reel and wagon were pulled by any horse that could be pressed into service.
In 1915, a citizen donated his horse to pull the hose reel for the department. Also in 1915, firemen built a two-story building directly across on the street from their old location. The building was later sold to pay the debt of the building.
In 1917, the department purchased its first motorized apparatus which was an American LaFrance pumper.
In 1919, South Norfolk became an incorporated town in Norfolk County. Within three years South Norfolk became a city and hired its first paid personnel in January 1951. It consisted of eight firefighters and two deputy fire chiefs that worked twenty-four hour shifts.
In 1954, the City’s first full time fire chief was hired. The appointee, Mr. John B. Gibson, Sr. was the former chief of the Portlock Fire Department and had previously served as deputy chief of the South Norfolk Fire Department.
In 1963, Norfolk County and the City of South Norfolk merged and formed the City of Chesapeake, naming Chief Gibson as the City’s first fire chief.
On August 1, 1969 fire department personnel moved into the new station located at 20th Street and Seaboard Avenue. The dedication ceremony was held October 1, 1969. This is still the current location of Fire Station 1.
Station 1 Today:
Station 1 continues to be one of the busiest companies in the City with over 3,000 responses in 2008.
It is also part of the Special Operation Division with responsibilities for foam firefighting.
The Chesapeake Fire Department has the only dedicated foam team in the Hampton Roads region.
Station 1 continues to serve a very diverse area ranging from low-income housing to major industrial facilities such as grain processing and petroleum tank farms.
Over the years, our mission has not changed and that is to dedicate ourselves to protect and improve your quality of life by providing a responsive and caring service. The personnel assigned to Fire Station 1 have served the citizens and visitors for over 116 years.
Our motto is: “We’ll take it from here!”
Equipment housed at Station 1: