For over 150 years, volunteer firefighters have protected Auburn's citizens and property. In 1852, the citizens of Auburn appointed Fire Wardens, who organized the Hook and Ladder Company, the first fire protection service in Auburn. They were:
The wardens tried to raise funds to purchase a Hook and Ladder truck, but only had water buckets and a two-wheeled, hand hose cart. By 1853, the wardens recruited 14 volunteer firemen. During this time, when a fire alarm sounded, the whole town turned out, and everyone did their part to extinguish the fire.
On August 22, 1881, the citizens of east Auburn organized another fire department, originally called the Uptown Fire Department. The department went through several name changes in the next few years:
- (1887) Central Hose Company of Auburn
- (1888) Auburn Hose Company #1, nicknamed the "Rattlers"
By February 16, 1888, the firemen of the Auburn Hose Company were building a two story firehouse opposite the Borland Hotel on Railroad Street.
In early 1900, the two fire departments joined together as one department. The first Fire Chief of the combined department was Guy Lukens, who remained in charge until his retirement in 1946. Since then, the department has been under the direction of:
- Henry Gietzen (1946-1988)
- Sam McLain (1988-1992)
- Howard Leal (1992-2002)
- Mark D'Ambrogi (2002-Present)
Mission Statement of Auburn City Fire Department:
"The Auburn City Fire Department, with dedication and tradition for over 150 years, continues to strive professionally and efficiently to respond to emergencies and calls of need, to provide public education, promote prevention, and protect the lives and property of all those we serve with pride and honor."
The Auburn City Fire Department operates from three fire stations with 24/7 coverage of which includes 3/0 staffed engine company and a Duty Officer.
The department uses the following firefighting equipment:
- Three Type 1 engines
- Two Type 3 engines
- Type 1 water tender
- One Tele-squirt engine
- One Rescue unit
- One Cascade/Air unit