1770 – General Assembly of the Province of North Carolina “an Act Regulating the Town of Salisbury”. Among the provisions of this act was the protection against fire. Every householder was required to keep upon his premises a ladder and a leather bucket of not less than two gallons capacity.
The Salisbury Fire Department has a long history that is marked by faithfulness to duty and outstanding progress. Salisbury's first fire company was formed December 8, 1817 as the townspeople expressed their desire to form a fire department, the Town officially organized a firefighting company.
The Citizens of the Town of Salisbury donate funds amounting to $415. “We whose names are hereunto subscribed, do promise to pay to the Commissioners of the Town of Salisbury the sum opposite to each of our names on demand for the purpose of enabling them to procure an engine and other fire apparatus as they may think necessary for the safety of the town. Witness our hands at Salisbury, N.C. This 8th Decem. 1817”. An official copy of our originating document was presented to the fire department by William D. Kizziah, Rowan County Register of Deeds, on July 30, 1948.
1818 – Laws of North Carolina. Chapter CVI. An Act concerning the Town of Salisbury. Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of same, That the commissioners of the of the town of Salisbury, be, and they are hereby authorized to form and organize one or more fire companies in said town, and to make such rules and regulations for the government and operation thereof, as to them may seem necessary, and to compel the inhabitants of said town to procure fire buckets, and said commissioners shall provide a convenient and fit place for keeping in safety the fire engine of said town.
1866 – A new fire engine was purchased replacing the fire engine destroyed during the occupation of Salisbury by Gen. Stoneman during his raid. The new engine, a hose carriage, and 300 feet of leather fire hose purchase totaled $1150. The new fire engine was purchased from Rumsey & Company of Seneca Falls New York for $500. The new apparatus was a Piano Style No. 1 Fire Engine. The hose carriage cost $200. The hose cost $1.50 per foot. A Negro Fire Company was organized in Salisbury. This company consisted of about 30 members whom were exempt from paying poll taxes in return for their services.
The formal organization of the Salisbury Hook and Ladder Company No 1 took place 22 years later in 1877.
1887 – First municipal water works established. A standpipe was erected on 100 block of West Fisher St. containing 250,000 gallons of water. They installed 5 miles of water mains and 52 fire hydrants. The water was pumped from Crane Creek (current Corbin Hills golf club area) along Stokes Ferry Rd directly into the standpipe. The North Carolina Firemen’s Association was formed this year as a statewide association of firemen. The NCSFA held its annual convention in Salisbury in 1896, 1904, 1933 and 1940. Alexander Parker, former Salisbury Fire Department Chief, was delegate to organize the NCSFA; Chief Parker remarked, “One of the greatest organizations of the State to protect life and property. We can’t honor a better class of men, than the firemen, who risk their lives to save our lives and our property.”
1896 - A new Central Fire Station was constructed at 117 S. Lee St. The building was occupied around 1900. This station also served as the Town Hall and Calaboose. As a fire station, it remained in service for 65 years. The building would go on to become a restaurant and later a flower shop.