In 1916, one year after the incorporation of the City of Batavia, the first paid City Fire Department was formed. Prior to that, six volunteer companies were housed throughout the village to provide fire protection. The semi-paid department consisted of 6 full time and 12 on call members. In November 1921, the department increased the number of full time members to twelve and eliminated the use of on call members. The goal, as it remains today, was to ensure a quick and full response to all areas of the newly formed city.
The first fire headquarters was centrally located on the corner of Court and Ellicott Streets, this provided fast and easy access to all areas of the city, but heavy rail traffic often cut off access to portions of the south side and delayed emergency responses. To alleviate this, the city leased half of the Durham Bottling building at 305-307 Ellicott Street and located a second fire station there.
In 1946, the Wortzman family, who operated a furniture store in the other half of the Durham building needed more space for their expanding business. They purchased the building and asked the fire department to relocate. A new building was constructed in 1947 at 443 Ellicott Street to serve as Fire Station Number 2.
In 1948, when it was no longer possible to shoehorn the larger and more modern firefighting apparatus into the old building, fire headquarters was moved from Court St. to the newly remodeled and spacious Municipal Building at 3 West Main Street where it remained until 1978. The new fire headquarters was built, and still remains today, on Evans Street.
In 1986, the hospital ambulance services were having difficulties keeping pace with the increasing call volumes in the county; city residents were forced to wait extended periods for the next available ambulance. The fire department purchased a used ambulance to help fill the EMS response voids and provided BLS service in the city.
In 1997, when the financially strapped hospitals merged and announced their intentions to end their ambulance service, the city fire department expanded their service to a Paramedic Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport service and provided EMS for the county.
In 2007, the need for a satellite station on the other side of the tracks was no longer needed, as the heaviest rail traffic was relocated to the outskirts of the city decades before, Fire Station 2 was closed and the entire emergency service operation was consolidated to fire headquarters.
In 2009, the city discontinued the fire department’s ambulance service returning the fire service back to a non-transporting, basic life support first response in the City.
Today, the City of Batavia Fire Department consists of 38 members including, 28 Firefighters, 4 Captains, 4 Lieutenants, a Chief and Senior Typist.