The Biloxi Fire Department can be found on a peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico in Biloxi, Miss. For the first 180 years of the existence of Biloxi, its fire protection is believed to be much like that of any other small town. Each household, either voluntarily or by city ordinance, owned a fire bucket. When an alarm of fire was sounded, these buckets were collected and used by all able-bodied citizens.
The Biloxi Fire Department was formally organized in 1904 and consisted of paid and volunteer firefighters, remaining this way until the early 1950s, when the department became a fully paid, career department.
That was then…. This is now.
Today, the Biloxi Fire Department is a professional, paid department consisting of more than 140 total line firefighters and staff members. They operate out of nine firehouses with the following apparatus: nine engine companies, three ladder companies, three tankers, two command vehicles, a heavy rescue vehicle, a fire boat, one air/light vehicle, one support service vehicle, two reserve engines, one fire investigations unit and numerous staff vehicles.
The department proudly protects more than 44,000 residents and tens of thousands of visitors in an area of about 61-square miles. The Biloxi Fire Department serves a diverse community consisting of a large area of residential multi-unit dwellings with a significant tourist industry that includes nine casino resorts.
In addition to standard firefighting duties, the department also performs medical and high angle rescue calls as well as other specialized services. They have an average response time of four minutes. All Biloxi firefighters receive medical training and, at a minimum, are First Responder certified. The BFD is progressive in its efforts to provide continuous training to its members and recently added wild land firefighting because of the annexation of 34-square miles of predominantly rural area.