History

Fire Department History

The Boxborough Fire Department began serving the community in 1913 with the purchase of the town’s first fire truck, a horse drawn wagon. The first motorized vehicle was purchased in 1916 (a converted telephone truck) followed by the first fire pump in 1931.

Notifying emergency personnel of a fire in the community was originally achieved by ringing the bells at town hall and the church. In fact, fires were often reported by train engineers who would sound four short horn blasts to signal town hall to ring the bell. During the middle of the 20th century, telephones were installed throughout the community to easily notify the fire department of emergencies. Today, instead of using the loud public siren to summon department members, the town now utilizes a digital paging system.

In 1954, a town committee was formed to formalize the operations and future of the department. It was this committee that approved the engineering of the town’s new fire truck, built by volunteer fire fighters! In 1957, the same committee came together and built the town’s fire station, which was fully completed five years later.

What started as a collection of brooms and buckets is now a fully functional emergency response department housed in its own building with more than ten different pieces of specialized apparatus. The department was staffed entirely by volunteers until the first full-time members were hired in 1987. Today, the department is supported by a full-time chief, four full-time firefighters, and 30 call personnel who respond as needed.