A Brief History of the City of Milton Fire Department
The City of Milton Fire Department had its beginnings as the Milton Volunteer Fire Department in 1914. After the third of three devastating fires (1885, 1892, and 1909) that each destroyed most of downtown Milton, the Town Council placed an order for fire hose and equipment. When this equipment, consisting of three hand-drawn hose reels, 1,500 feet of hose, nozzles and wrenches, a group of prominent local citizens gathered to establish a fire department on April 21, 1914. The department, headed by Chief Pinkney M. Bruner, tendered its services to the Town of Milton, and was given charge of the newly purchased equipment.
Later that same year the department purchased a 1914 American LaFrance Chemical Engine on a Ford Chassis. This apparatus was the first automobile fire truck in northwest Florida. For the next 13 years the Milton Volunteer Fire Department provided fire protection for the Town and surrounding areas from its firehouse on Grace (now Caroline) Street, on the Courthouse lawn. The Fire Department relocated when the Town of Milton built its new Town Hall on the corner of Berryhill and Broad Streets, moving into a drive-through bay in the rear of this triangular building.
In 1954 the department hired its first paid member, a “Nighttime Firefighter” to answer the telephone and drive the fire truck to the fire. A Weekend Firefighter was added later that same year. With the addition of a Daytime Firefighter in 1960 the Milton Fire Department became a 24-hour operation. By 1965 the department operated two 24-hour shifts of a Captain, a Lieutenant and two Firefighters each, plus the Fire Chief and First Captain.
The City of Milton Fire Department has now grown to employ 16 career members consisting of the Fire Chief, and three shifts of a Captain, Lieutenant, and three Firefighters providing fire suppression, emergency medical response, fire prevention and public education to the citizens of Milton.