History of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department
2001 - Present
January 1st, 2000– The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department is the 14th largest fire department in the United States. It answers over 110,000 calls for service.
October 1st, 2001– The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department regains control of Station 16 at the Jacksonville International Airport.
October 2001– Members of Station 21 are uprooted and moved to other stations. They are replaced by Hazardous Materials Technicians. Station 21 will become Jacksonville’s second Hazardous Materials Team, operating on Jacksonville’s south side of town.
October 2001- After samples of Anthrax are sent to Tom Brokaw at NBC News and several others, The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazardous Materials team is inundated with hundreds of calls related to Anthrax. All calls for service turn out to be hoaxes.
February 14th, 2002– The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters launches its public information web site, www.jfrd.com. This web site quickly becomes popular, garnering over 50,000 hits in its first year.
February 2002– The Jacksonville City Council hands the deed to the closed Fire Station 8 to the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters Local 122. Station 8 now is the home for Local 122.
April 20th, 2002– The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responds to a massive generator fire on Talleyrand Avenue as the entire City of Jacksonville is blacked out for several hours.
August 16th, 2002– Firefighters Rick Murphy and Phil Smith suffer severe injuries rescuing a mother and two children from their burning home. After pulling out the mother, Murphy and Smith re-entered the house and found a child. The firefighters gave up their air for the child and saved him. Both firefighters were injured during the blaze. Smith never returned to work.
December 2002– The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters announces the endorsement of one John Peyton as their choice for Mayor in the upcoming elections. Peyton is an unknown politically.
April 2003- After a brutal political slugfest, Mayoral candidate John Peyton, whose campaigned is powered by hundreds of off duty Jacksonville Firefighters, wins the Republican primary in the race to become Jacksonville’s Mayor.
May 2003– John Peyton trounces Democratic Candidate for Mayor and current Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover to become the next Mayor of the City of Jacksonville. Firefighter endorsed candidates go on to win in 23 out of 27 politically elected contests, reestablishing the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters as a political force.
July 1st, 2003- John Peyton is inaugurated as Mayor of Jacksonville with hundreds of firefighters in attendance.
July 2nd, 2003– Battalion Chief Miles R. Bowers is named Interim Fire Chief of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. During his tenure, he places an order for 2 new fire boats.
September 15th, 2003– New Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton announces that current JFRD Battalion Chief Richard Barrett will be appointed Director/Fire Chief of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. Randy White is named Deputy Director/Fire Chief. Charles Moreland, at age 32, becomes the youngest Division Chief in the history of the JFRD as the Chief of Rescue.
January 1st, 2004– 241 Jacksonville Firefighters officially retire from the department as part of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). Among those are 57 year JFRD Veteran Battalion Chief Miles Bowers and 52 year veteran District Chief Romulous Alderman. Bowers leaves as the longest serving fire fighter in the history of the department.
January 15th, 2004– The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters pledges their continued support for the Florida/Georgia Blood Alliance with the dedication of the Firefighter Blood Mobile.
January 24th, 2004– New Station 33 on New Kings Road is dedicated. It replaces the dilapidated and condemned building the crew members previously worked in.
February 10th, 2004– A 2-alarm fire guts a warehouse on Jernigan Rd. in Fire District 21.
March 19th, 2004– The new Marine 2 is dedicated at the Jacksonville Landing.
June 2nd, 2004– Ground is broken for Fire Station 58, located on Joeandy Rd.
June 11th, 2004– A two alarm fire destroys three buildings at the intersection of 6th and Walnut.
July 11th, 2004- A lightning strike ignites a building in the Southbrook Apartment complex in Fire District 28. Engine 21 arrives on scene first to find heavy fire coming through the roof of the structure. 3 apartments suffer fire damage while an additional 4 suffer from smoke and water damage.
August 10th– 2004– Jacksonville Firefighters are dispatched to Port Charlotte Florida to assist with hurricane relief efforts.
September 4th, 2004– Jacksonville is side-swiped by Hurricane Frances. There are massive power outages and several fires. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department never discontinues service during the event.
September 7th, 2004– 50 Jacksonville Firefighters staff the telephones at the Jacksonville Electric Authority after Hurricane Frances struck. Firefighters arrived to find a skeleton crew assisting customers. Firefighters quickly alleviated the logjam of calls.
September 16th-19th, 2004- Jacksonville Firefighters are dispatched to the Florida Panhandle to assist with Fire and Rescue duties in the wake of Hurricane Ivan.
December 2004– The department places into service three new 100 foot aerial tiller ladders from Pierce. These ladders are assigned to Ladders 4, 10, and 30.
December 13th, 2004– Ground is broken on Fire Station 57, located on Beaver Street near Hutchinson Road.
February 1st, 2005– Fire erupts at R and R auto and Salvage on Old Middleburg Rd. New Pierce aerial Ladders 4 and 10 are raised for the first time at a working fire to extinguish the blaze.
February 2nd-7th, 2005– The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department shines as it works during the Super Bowl XXXIX festivities. Planning for the event goes well, with no major events occurring. The department comes in under budget on overtime and staffing. The New England Patriots go on to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville’s first go around as Super Bowl host.
March 17th, 2005– After an extensive renovation project, Fire Station 11 is re-dedicated.
March 20th, 2005– Firefighters from Ladder 1 rescue six tenants out of a burning apartment complex. Additional firefighters from Stations 4, 5, 10, and 18 assisted with ventilation and extinguishment of the blaze at the intersection of Beaver and Broad Streets.
March 31st, 2005– Engine 2 arrives on scene at the intersection of Liberty and First Streets to find a pair of two-story homes fully involved. The three alarm fire requires over 100 firefighters on scene.
April 2nd, 2005– A second alarm apartment fire at the Oaks Apartments on Monument Road briefly traps Ladder 30 Captain Jeff Basford. He is rescued uninjured.
June 9th and 10th, 2005– The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters hosts the Florida Professional Firefighters annual conference in downtown Jacksonville.
July 14th, 2005– A lightning strike ignites a home on Blagdon Court in the Queen’s Harbour Community. Fire Station 58, which when completed, would exit into the community on to Blagdon Court, lies incomplete and unmanned a mere 100 yards from the blaze, unable to help.
August 14th, 2005– A Trauma One helicopter crashes into an open space on an on ramp to Interstate 95 at Eight Street shortly after take off from the Shands Trauma Center. Everyone involved walks away from the crash.
August 29th, 2005– Over 100 Jacksonville Firefighters are on the ground in Mississippi just hours after Hurricane Katrina makes landfall. The firefighters staged in the Florida Panhandle prior to Katrina making landfall.
August 31st, 2005– Jacksonville Firefighters in Katrina affected areas give their food and water to residents who have lost everything. Firefighters call home for assistance.
September 1st, 2005– The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters call for donations to fill one tractor trailer truck of food, water, and supplies to send to hurricane stricken areas.
September 2nd–8th, 2005– In an amazing show of support by the citizens of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Firefighters are able to send not one, but 28 tractor trailers loaded with much needed supplies to Katrina affected areas.
September 11th, 2005– The Jacksonville Association of Firefighters Local 122 answers the call from the International Association of Firefighters to assist fellow firefighters in Mississippi and Louisiana. For the next two weeks, Jacksonville Firefighters joined firefighters from all over the country in aiding shell-shocked firefighters and helping them get back on their feet.
October 2005– Fire Station 57 opens at the intersection of Beaver and Hutchinson Streets.
November 2005– Fire Station 58 opens on Joeandy Road.