The mission statement of New Glasgow Fire & Rescue is to, “Provide protection to the citizens and businesses of the Town of New Glasgow. To protect the citizens and businesses from the ravages of fire or any other emergencies to which we may be called to, keeping in mind at all times the safety and best interests of the community, and to educate them to the dangers of fire."
The Town of New Glasgow was officially incorporated on November 12, 1875. Prior to that time, residents and store owners on Provost Street and Archimedes Street experienced two devastating fires on April 19, 1874 and May 23, 1875. In 1874, a fire broke out on the south end of Provost Street. Lack of firefighting equipment for such a large fire made fighting the fire difficult. Even with assistance from fire fighters from Stellarton, Pictou and Westville, half of the downtown area burned to the ground. In 1875, another fire occurred in the northern end of the downtown again with devastation. During these fires, New Glasgow had two companies of fire protection: the Hand Fire Engine Company and the Hook and Ladder Company. The Hand Fire Engine Company had a captain, a hand bar pumper and a bucket brigade of volunteers.
In early January 1876 the town appointed its first fire wardens and fire constables. The fire wardens were Thomas Fraser, “foreman,” John Cumming, Donald Grant, George Forrest MacKay and James W. Carmichael. The first constables were Duncan Cumming, John R. Chisholm, Davis Murray, John Roy, William Smith and John K. Stewart.
After the fires in 1874 and 1875, it was determined that proper fire equipment was needed and the town purchased the Lulan in 1877. The Lulan was horse drawn and steam powered equipment built by the Manchester Locomotive Works, Manchester, New Hampshire with a purchase cost of $4700.00 including duty. During its first demonstration on September 6, 1877, the Lulan showed its capacity forcing water through 1000 feet of hose at a height of 175 feet. In November 1880, the Lulan was put to the test when it was used in the Foord Pit mining disaster in Stellarton when the pit caught fire after an explosion which took 44 lives. Named after a First Nations Chief, the Lulan served the community well until 1917 when it was replaced by a motorized fire engine, the 1917 LaFrance fire truck.
Today’s New Glasgow Fire & Rescue Department is dedicated to fire prevention and the protection of the citizens and property of New Glasgow. The fully trained department consists of eight full time operators, five spares and 40 callout members. The callout members are Level 1 trained and officers are Level 2 trained. The fleet consists of a pumper/ rescue, pumper/engine, ladder/pumper, an equipment truck and a ½ ton truck that tows either a haz-mat trailer or the rescue boat. New Glasgow Fire & Rescue is a member of a county wide mutual-aid agreement, where they respond when needed to emergency situations, including services for fire, medical first response, motor vehicle collisions, ice and water rescue in communities throughout the region.
Fire safety education is a critical link to the community and the department has a very active fire prevention program whereby members visit schools and instruct fire safety to students. The Lulan and 1917 LaFrance fire truck, historically used in regular calls, were restored by members and now used in town events, parades, an annual Christmas Eve tour by Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as other events in the County. The New Glasgow Fire & Rescue participates in the annual Fire Prevention Week in October, hosts an open house and awareness presentations to the general public and also participates in the North American Occupational Health and Safety Week events hosted by all departments of the Town of New Glasgow. The Fire & Rescue members are always willing participants in community events including the annual Downtown Christmas Light up, New Glasgow Christmas Parade, Communities in Bloom events, parades and several signature hometown festivals.
New Glasgow Fire & Rescue is proud of their department's history and continue to hold fast to their founding principles. This dedicated group of men and women protect, educate and give back to New Glasgow and Pictou County while preserving the past, protecting the community and preparing for the future.