The Whitehorse Fire Department is a proud and committed organization, dedicated to proactively providing compassionate and responsive service. The Department is “dedicated to the protection of life, property and the environment” by providing fire prevention and suppression services, public education, hazardous materials response, rescue, and first aid.
The Fire Department was originally formed in 1901 after rapid growth in the area. Initially, all the firefighters were volunteers and, like today, they were from all walks of life. The Whitehorse Fire Department can proudly claim having Robert Service as a member for a short period of time. For the first forty years of the Department’s existence, steam-powered pumps and hand- drawn hose reels were the mainstay of the Department’s firefighting equipment. In 1942, Dowland Construction one, of the main contractors on the Alaska Highway Project, purchased a brand new Ford fire truck for the citizens of Whitehorse. The new truck was the first motorized equipment owned by the Department. In 1950, the Territorial Government granted the status of “city” to Whitehorse. Since then, the Fire Department has been operated by The City of Whitehorse. The Whitehorse Fire Department has continued to grow and develop into the department that exists today.
As we move forward in the 21st Century, the Department is placing more and more emphasis on fire prevention, including wild fire abatement, public education, pre-emergency planning, and fire inspections, to reduce the number of destructive fires that occur each year. Mutual Aid agreements with surrounding Fire Departments enhance the suppression services available to the citizens of Whitehorse and the adjacent areas. The Department is also involved with Emergency Measures planning to prepare for those situations that may overwhelm the local resources.