The rural fire department of Buffalo was organized in 1958. At that time a 1956 fire truck was purchased. It was the first rural fire protected district in North Dakota.
The first organized fire department in Buffalo was started March 16th 1959. There were twelve charter members of the fire department with the monthly meetings being held in the Veterans Memorial Hall. At that time there were dues of $1.00 for the members and a .25-cent fine for anyone missing a meeting. During the early years of the department the officers consisted of the chief, an assistant chief and secretary-treasurer.
In 1960, seven fire phones were installed in homes and businesses in town to insure quicker response in times of emergency. A 1945 IHC 2-ton truck, equipped with a 500-gallon pumper was purchased. In 1978 the petition for the town to join the rural fire district was accepted and the Buffalo Rural Fire Protection District was created. The district comprises six townships consisting of Ayr, Buffalo, Cornell, Hill, Howes and Tower. This protected district of 218 square miles to date remains the same.
In 1978 the department bought a 1-ton Pierce Bicentennial mini-pumper adding a much needed response unit to the aging 1945 city pumper and the original 1956 rural truck. By 1980, added interest in becoming a volunteer fireman increased from the founding twelve to twenty-five. A 1978 Chevy 2-ton tanker truck was purchased. Monthly meetings continued by tradition and officers consisted of a chief, four assistant chiefs, secretary-treasurer and a maintenance officer. During this period department officers requested added training for the volunteers. Many members became certified to the Fire Fighter 1 status through training at the state, regional and local levels.
More growth within the department was realized in the 1990’s. The purchase of a new 1992 GMC Topkick rural pumper and a 1994 Chevy Suburban personnel hauler made the existing Veterans Memorial Hall insufficient in size to house all the units. A steel building just down the block was available and purchased splitting the fire units between two buildings.
In 2003 the volunteers of the Buffalo Fire Department proposed to the Buffalo Rural Fire Protection District board members the construction of a new fire station to house the departments fleet. Being approved, construction is set for the spring of 2004. Though separate, the fire department houses the Buffalo Quick Response Unit. Two firemen are EMT Basic trained with nine others BLS certified. Currently there are 29 active volunteer firemen on the roster. Officers consist of a chief, two assistant chiefs, secretary-treasurer, hazmat, vehicle maintenance, communications, equipment, safety and training.
It is with great honor that we volunteer to serve our community and outlying areas. Through the years we have had overwhelming support from our community and greatly appreciate their acknowledgements of gratitude.