History of The Ceres Fire Department

Ceres Fire Department began in 1911 as an all-volunteer agency. Volunteer Firefighters would go about their regular day jobs until the sound of the fire bell brought them all together to respond to emergencies and fight fires in the Ceres community. There were no full-time firefighters at the time and the Volunteers were members of the community with little or no real fire experience. Eventually, Ceres Fire Department hired a full-time Fire Chief and maintained a committed group of volunteers to support the daily functions of a fire department.

Public Safety Department

In 1987, the Fire Chief left the City, at which time, there was only one paid firefighter and 34 volunteers. The Ceres City Council decided to review the concept of a Public Safety Department comprised of both the Police and Fire Departments. After three months of reviewing the concept, the City Council adopted the Public Safety concept. In early 1989, two Battalion Chief’s, six paid Firefighters and a non-sworn staff member were hired full-time to assist the new Chief (Division Commander) and the growing department.

Today, the all-volunteer group has turned into a cutting edge paid staff team comprised of 7 Firefighters and 12 Fire Captains who report to the three Battalion Chiefs assigned to each shift, as well as a Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal, the Deputy Chief, and one Secretary. Line staff works 24 hours a day out of four stations, still supplemented by valuable Reserve and Intern staff.

The newest of the four stations is Fire Station Number 4. Station Number 4 is a one-story building of 6,905 square feet, with three administration spaces, two apparatus bays, one rescue boat space, and living quarters for eight Firefighters.

Service Area

Ceres Fire Department has grown to service nearly 55,000 community members within Ceres and its two surrounding districts within our 15 square mile protection area. The Ceres Fire Protection District, with approximately 1,200 residents, stretches over the southeast portion of the protection area. The Industrial Fire Protection District, with nearly 4,000 residents covers the northern portion of the City along the river. The City population is estimated to be in excess of 40,000 residents. 

Reaching just over 4,958 calls for service in 2008, Ceres four fire stations respond to not only structure fires, but also a number of medical aid, rescue, public assistance and mutual aid calls as well. Nearly 72% of all of calls are medical in nature, requiring all Ceres Firefighters to be trained Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as Office of the State Fire Marshal Certified Firefighters.