After the rebuilding of the village of Buffalo after it was burned by the British during the War of 1812, village officials thought it might be a good idea to have a fire department in place.  The history of the Buffalo Fire Department is older than the city itself.  The earliest mention of a Buffalo Fire Department dates back to 1816 when 25 ladders were purchased and property owners were required to provide one leather bucket for each home, shop or store.  They were also required to keep their chimneys properly swept and in the future all chimneys would be built large enough so they could be swept.

The first fire company was formed in 1824 and in 1826, 100 dollars was allocated for the construction of a village fire house.  By 1830, there were 27 Buffalo firefighters.  And in 1831, Buffalo began to address the issue of available water to fight fires.  They built four cisterns along Main Street at the intersections of Seneca, Swan, Eagle and Court Streets each holding 10-thousand gallons of water.  They also bought two new fire engines that year.

Today 675 firefighters operate out of 20 fire houses answering 30-thousand calls a year.