On April 21 the City of Milton Fire Department will celebrate 100 years of service to the community. Established by a group of prominent local citizens on April 21, 1914, following a series of very destructive fires, the Milton Volunteer Fire Department selected Pinkney McDavid Bruner, a local dentist, as the first fire chief. The officers of the department tendered their services to the Town of Milton, and the Board of Aldermen formally recognized the department and empowered them to "take into its charge and have exclusive care, custody, and control and management of all hose, hose reels, trucks, ladders, carts and other fire apparatus that now or may hereafter belong to the town." Later that year the town purchased a 1914 American LaFrance Chemical Hook and Ladder, the first automobile fire truck in northwest Florida.
The members of the Milton Fire Department have faithfully served the residents of Milton since that time, consistently preventing the very types of conflagrations that had destroyed the downtown area three times before. The department has changed through the years from an all-volunteer organization, hiring the first paid fireman in 1953, establishing two full-time shifts in 1965, adding a third shift in 1974, to an all-career department employing 16 certified firefighters. The departmentís equipment has also improved dramatically, from three hand-drawn hose carts to a full fleet of modern, state of the art firefighting apparatus.
An anniversary program to commemorate this important milestone will be held on Monday, April 21, at 11:00 a.m., at the City of Milton Fire Station, 5321 Stewart Street. The public is invited to attend.