Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive

The Founding Documents
Creating the Los Angeles Fire Department
December 9, 1871

(text version)



The Mayor and Common Council
of the City of Los Angeles do ordain
as follows

Section 1 There is hereby created a Fire Department
in and for the City of  Los Angeles to
consist of not more than three Steam
Fire Engine Companies to consist each
of a President vice President
Secretary and Treasure Foreman and
1st and 2nd Assistant Foreman also
one Engineer one Driver one Fireman
and Eight Hoseman and Eight Axe
men   Also a Standing Committee
of five members.

Two Hook and Ladder Companies
to consist each of one Foreman
one Driver one Tillerman and twelve
Hook and Ladder men one of whom
shall act as Assistant Foreman and
one as clerk.

Three Hose Companies to consist each
of one Fireman and Driver one Steward
and Six Hosemen one of whom shall
act as Assistant Foreman and one as

Each Fire Engine Company shall
have one Steam Fire Engine one Hose

Reel one thousand feet of Hose and
not more than three Horses

Each Hook and Ladder Company
shall have one Truck with Hooks
And Ladders and necessary ??????
proper Appurtenances and Appliances
And not more than three Horses

Each Hose Company shall have one
Cart and Reel with one thousand
feet of Hose but the Common Council
shall have power to increase the number
of Fire Companies as the public Safety
of the City may require and to purchase
the necessary Steam Engine Apparatus
and Appurtenances therefore

Section 2 The only Engine that shall be purchased by the City and used by the Fire Department
shall be Steam Fire Engines of the best
pattern and Manufacture.
Section 3 A steam Fire Engine Company shall be
composed of not more than sixty five
nor less than Twenty fire Males of the full
age of twenty one years all of Whom
must be duely registered Members of the 
Department   A Company desiring
Admission into the Department must
make application to the Common Council

of the City of Los Angeles accompanying
Such Application with a Copy of their
Constitution signed by at least Twenty
five Males of the age of twenty one years
the names of their Officers and where
they desire to be located   If such
application receives the approval of 
the Common Council the Company
shall be declared admitted into the
Department and entitled to the privileges
of the same.
Section 4 Whenever A Fire Company by reason of
Deaths ???? or ex???? shall have
Reduced its Roll to less than 25 Active
Members it shall be the duty of the 
Clerk or Secretary of said Company
to forthwith notify the Common Council
of the fact and such Company shall thereupon be forth with ????
until the next Regular Meeting of Said
Common Council and if not increased
to at least 25 active members by 
new membership before such next regular
meeting and the names of each new
Member together with the names of 
the active Members ???? reported
to said Common Council it shall

thereupon be disbanded
Section 5 The Common Council shall have the 
powers to locate all cisterns and Fire
Companies Houses here after to be built
Section 6 This Ordinance shall take effect be in
force from and after its passage

Approved this 9th day
of December 1871   
Cristobal Argubar   


Source: USC Library USC-1998-00044N-1

View the original pages:

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

L A F D Ordinance--(typed version)

Back to the The Volunteer Page


Copyright 2000 All Rights Reserved.