20th Century and Beyond
The 20th Century brought change and progress. The first motorized and self propelled fire apparatus was a brand new 1916 American LaFrance Fire Engine. The Ford Model T, with a Smith "Form-a-Body" truck conversion, came with quite a list of features. Including:
- Ford 4-cylinder engine
- Seating for two firefighters
- Transmission brake and hand brake
- Soda Acid Extinguisher system
- 30 Gallon Water Tank
- Hand Crank Starter
- Electric and Kerosene Lighting
- All Wood Extension Ladders
- AND a hand cranked siren!
The First Known Yuma Fire Department Station
The first known YFD station was located on Main Street and shared a building with the Elks Club. The department's 1916 American LaFrance fire engine was first housed here. Always working to improve service, it was parked on a ramp so the driver could start it rolling and pop the clutch to start it instead of hand cranking it (until it was converted to a new-fangled electric starter in 1920).
In the 1920's, the Yuma Fire Department Moved from Main Street
As is often the case in many communities, the Yuma Fire Department spent much of the 20th Century in the city's downtown area. In the late teens/early 1920s the Yuma Fire Department moved from Main Street and was incorporated into the City Hall which had been built in 1900.
April 11-13, 1929 saw firefighters from all over Arizona gather in Yuma to attend the Arizona State Fireman's Association's Sixth Annual convention. Must have been quite an adventure getting here considering the roads and vehicles of the time.
In the late 1950's, Fire Station #1 Built South of City
In the late 1950's Fire Station #1 was built several blocks South of City Hall and served as a base of fire operations and administration through the end of the 20th century.
Fire Administration Moved to the City's New City Hall in 2002
In 2002, Fire Administration was moved to the city's new City Hall when it opened. So some aspects of YFD's operations have returned to again be literally part of City Hall.
"E.F. Sanguinetti" Fire Station #1
In 2013, the "E.F. Sanguinetti" Fire Station #1 was completed and began operations in March. Old Station #1 was located on the same property and demolished shortly after the new station entered service.
The mission style architecture of the new station fits the historic nature of its downtown neighborhood and includes styling borrowed from the 2nd Avenue Grammar school that occupied the same site from 1908 until it burned down in 1953.
Station #1 was named for early Yuma resident and businessman, E.F. Sanguinetti, considered to have been instrumental in the founding of the Yuma Fire Department.
Station #1 is also the site of the 9-11 Memorial, dedicated on September 11th 2013 and incorporating a section of I-beam recovered from the World Trade Center.
Stations Move Farther from the City Center
As Yuma has grown, so has the number and size of its stations, their locations have moved farther from the city center. Fire Station #2, in the area of the city known as "The Avenues," was eventually closed and a new Station #2 that could support newer, larger and more emergency vehicles took its place.
A Long Way From the Hose Cart and Model T Fire Engines
Along with our new facilities, the Yuma Fire Department's equipment has come a long way from the hose cart and Model T fire engines.