Fire Department

Our mission is to protect the lives and preserve the property of all citizens of Canton, their guests, and travelers coming through our community.

We take our mission very seriously and our aim is to provide the citizens a cost-effective full-service fire department. We are available to assist you in any way we can. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1. If you need information, call us at 309-647-0040. 

The Canton Fire Department has a rich history dating back into the 1800s. Early records show a hook and ladder purchased in 1885 for the volunteer fire department which served Canton. The first paid Canton Fire Department was established in 1906 with its location at 49 South 1st Avenue. Firefighrters worked for one week, then had one day off. This work schedule was replaced with a 24 hour on, 24 hour off schedule in the early 1920s. Horses pulled the fire apparatus and there were 6 horses on duty when the paid fire department started. By the mid-1920s, all fire equipment was motorized.  As new technology became available, equipment was upgraded to steam engines and finally to gas and diesel engines. The history of the department is prominently displayed at the Canton Fire Department in glass, lighted showcases for public viewing.

Fire    fire 1
Firefighters, apparatus and horses          Firefighters pose with a motorized 
in front of the old Central Fire Station      fire truck sometime around the late 
lined up and ready to respond,               1920s or early 30s.
probably from the early 1900s.