Fire protection for the Town of Chandler began in 1917 when the Chamber of Commerce organized a fire company consisting of 18 volunteers. At that time, the town had approximately 2,000 residents. The fire company was led by Town Marshal Joe Sparks who was also the town’s only law enforcement officer. The Chamber of Commerce equipped the volunteer company with six hundred feet of hose, several nozzles, and two hose carts.
The first piece of mechanized fire apparatus used by the Chandler Fire Department (CFD) was a 1936 Dodge pumper. That unit, "The Old Dodge," is still part of the apparatus inventory in use for parades and demonstrations.
In 1953 the first paid fire chief and captains were hired. The captains were placed on two shifts and served as drivers. In 1969, the organization was officially reorganized as a paid fire department with a volunteer standby system. By 1970, the Chandler Fire Department was fully staffed by paid personnel as it is to this day. In 1975, the Department added advanced emergency medical care by training three firefighters as paramedics.
The current authority under which the Chandler Fire Department operates is Chapter 12, Article II of the City Code, which was adopted as Ordinance No. 1688 on September 11, 1986. On August 22, 1988, the City adopted Ordinance No. 1996 to allow CFD to provide fire, emergency medical, and other emergency services outside the city limits of Chandler. That ordinance also provided legal authorization for CFD to charge for those services.
On March 19, 1999, CFD became one of only 14 fire departments in the world to be granted accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). This prestigious award was granted to fire service agencies that successfully completed a rigorous peer and self-assessment. Since that time, CFD has successfully reaccredited five times. In 2018, the Department received an ISO Class 1 rating, making it one of approximately 60 fire departments nationally with this designation.
Today, the Chandler Fire Department is an internationally recognized organization comprised of 213 line firefighters and paramedics. CFD has 18 front-line apparatus operating from 11 stations, which serve the growing City of Chandler.