St Helier Fire Brigade (1902 - 1950)
The St Helier Fire Brigade was inaugurated on 1 January 1902 and originally consisted of a Chief Officer, Captain Howard Eady, a second officer, foreman and 12 firemen - all volunteers. Up to that time there had been, as far as parish records go, no official firefighting body in the town although for many years a garrison of troops was based in the Island who would assist at civil fires if requested to do so.
Initially, St Helier Fire Brigade was housed at the Town Hall and remained there until after World War I. Captain Eady served as Chief Officer until 1915 when he was succeeded by Adolphus Gale, who remained in charge until 1924, being then succeeded by Joseph Remphrey. Long overdue relocation came about in 1923 when the equipment room at the Town Hall was required for other purposes and the brigade moved to what had been the Town Arsenal in Nelson Street.
After Jersey became occupied by German forces in July 1940, control of the Fire Brigade passed from the Parish of St Helier to the States of Jersey under the Emergency Powers Act, involving the formation of 2 small sub-sections (St Aubin and Gorey) which were disbanded again in 1945.
States of Jersey Fire Service (1950 - 2000)
After the war, a spate of serious fires led to further reorganisation and in 1950 a new Chief Officer was recruited from the Salford Fire Brigade, Mr Frank Edmonston. Under the new name of the States of Jersey Fire Service, many changes ensued, including the moving of the service to its present location in Rouge Bouillon in 1954.
The year 1961 brought with it a liability to engage in inshore marine rescue and a Zodiac type inflatable rescue craft was purchased. In 1976 a hydraulic platform was bought to replace the ageing turntable ladder, which was itself eventually replaced by the service's current aerial ladder platform (ALP) in 1991.
In 1971 a reassessment of manpower resulted in the introduction of control room staff employed to deal with incoming emergency calls. In 1977, after strong recommendations by HM Inspectors of Fire Services and Chief Fire Officer Bill Mahoney, a western sub-station was opened at Route des Quennevais, St Brelade, which not only provided more effective fire cover for the western parishes, but also increased the strength of the firefighting resources of the Island.
1994 saw an expansion of the service's cliff rescue capability with the introduction of new equipment, procedures and training.
States of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service (2000 - present)
In the year 2000, the service's wider rescue role was reflected in a name change to the States of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service.
In 2004 the States of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service introduced many changes as part of the new Integrated Risk Management Planning methodology. This included a greater emphasis on prevention of fires and other emergencies through community safety initiatives such as home fire safety visits.
In 2011 the States passed the Fire and Rescue Service (Jersey) Law 2011, which replaced the Fire Service (Jersey) Law 1959. The new law expanded the role of the Fire and Rescue Service to include a duty to respond to a wide range of other emergencies and humanitarian services. It also expanded the powers of a firefighter to support the wider operational duties. It further provides a duty to promote community fire safety in Jersey and expands the ability to charge for non-emergency services.
Fire and Rescue Service (Jersey) Law 2011 on Jersey Law website
The role of the Fire Service has changed and widened, but the desire to give professional help is strong, if not stronger, than it has ever been.