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History of the Fire Service

15 water streetEstablished in July 1855 and managed by a committee of private citizens, the Kemptville Fire Brigade began with close to ten men and an old hand engine (pump).

The Village of Kemptville, once part of Oxford-on-Rideau Township, was incorporated in 1857 at which time Council assumed responsibility of the fire brigade and an additional hand pump was purchased.

Around 1874, the Town Hall was built and also housed the police and fire stations.

steam engineIn 1881 a Silsby steam engine was purchased to replace the hand pumps. The next year, the office of Fire Chief was created.

The 1914 International truck was purchased in 1919 and remained in service until 1941. An additional steam engine was purchased in 1920.

These steam engines were replaced by a gasoline pumper in 1938 which consisted of the pump taken from the 1920 steam engine. In 1941, the 1914 International was traded for a pumper of 500 gallons per minute mounted on a 220 hp International truck.

Kemptville has been a part of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Mutual Aid System since 1954.

During the mid-to-late 1960s, the Town purchased another pumper (500 gallons per minute) and the fire department built a 2,800 gallon tanker which was used at out-of-town fires. There was also an Emergency Truck with a new pumper expected in early 1970. At this time, the Kemptville Fire Department consisted of 25 men. Agreements for fire protection were entered into for the Townships of Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower with cost recovery for fire department services.

25 reuben crescentThe Armory Hall, built around 1912, underwent some modifications to become the next fire hall in 1969.

The fire dispatch system provided by Brockville Fire Department replaced the fire phone around 1986.

Extrication tools purchased in 1987 saw the fire department begin to respond to motor vehicle accidents.

A full-time Fire Chief was appointed in 1991, membership was up to 36 volunteers and the department began to respond to medical calls. Vehicles included 2 pumpers, 2 tankers and an Emergency Equipment Van. This was also the year that Kemptville Fire Department became known as being “Owned and Operated” by the three Townships.

In 1994, the department passed a Superior Tanker Shuttle Test by the Fire Underwriter’s and obtained a water delivery rate of 500 gallons per minute over a two-hour period.

On January 1, 1998, The Townships of Kemptville, Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower were amalgamated and became the Municipality of North Grenville. Kemptville Fire Department retained it’s name until January 2012 when it was changed to North Grenville Fire Service to better represent the community it served.

During the early 2000’s, the department was equipped with two pumpers, two 3,000 gallon tankers, an equipment van and a rescue truck. In 2002, the Service saw the addition of a ½ ton truck and a refurbished ambulance.

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The Kemptville Fire Department and now the North Grenville Fire Service has a history of 158 years of service to the community and has changed and adapted over the years. What has not changed is the commitment of the volunteer firefighters to protect the lives and property of those living or visiting North Grenville. A true representation of community spirit and pride that is deserving of respect and appreciation for the services they provide.