In 1877, the City of Burlington Fire Department was a 20 man Hose Company and was located in the old City-Town Hall on the corner of Pine Street and Washington Streets. With a growing population, the city then added a 35 member Hook and Ladder Company in 1878, which operated out of a building on Liberty Street (currently State Street) near McHenry Street. Improvements to the fire department continued with the addition of a one hundred dollar fire bell that was installed in the Villiage Hall belfry in 1890. An alarm system was added in 1907 with call boxes at strategic locations and other high risk areas in each ward.
As the city continued to grow, many changes began to take place. One such change was the construction of a new waterworks building in 1925. This facility also house the Fire Department at a new consolidated location. Another change was the creation of the Burlington Area Rescue Squad in 1945 by the Burlington Rotary Club. This Rescue Squad, which became operational in 1946, was organized to aid people in distress, not only in the city, but also in the surrounding areas. The final move for the City of Burlington Fire Department and Burlington Area Rescue Squad came in 1969 to their present location on Washington Street.