top of page
Old Truck

Our History

For over eighty years, the Plantation Fire Department has faithfully served the residents of Plantation. It all began in 1957 when a group of twenty-one community-minded individuals came together to establish the Plantation Volunteer Fire Department. Notable among these founding members were former Mayor Frank Veltri and the city's founder, Fred Peters. Their visionary leadership and dedication set the stage for the department's longstanding commitment to protecting and serving the community.

Protecting You

Today, the Plantation Fire Department has evolved into a comprehensive organization functioning from six stations. Impressively, it comprises over 190 dedicated volunteer firefighters, 76 professional EMS personnel, 12 career and three volunteer chief officers, four fire and life safety inspectors, six administrative professionals, and seven fleet maintenance personnel. Additionally, the department operates its own training center, authorized by the state. Divided into six operational divisions; suppression, rescue (EMS), fire and life Safety, training, fleet management and maintenance, and public affairs. The fleet encompasses 13 engine companies, 5 rescue units (equipped for ALS transport), 3 aerial companies, 1 special operation unit (dealing with Haz-Mat and dive/rescue operations), 3 support units, and 6 utility vehicles. Plantation proudly embraces its distinction as the largest volunteer fire department in Florida.



Founding Fathers


Westward Expansion


Responsibilities Grow


To the Rescue


Winds of Change


Top Rated


Brave New World

In the early days, the visionary founders organized a BBQ fundraising event to gather the necessary funds for the establishment of a fire department for the city. Remarkably, this humble BBQ gathering has grown into an illustrious tradition, becoming the largest and most enduring event in the city's calendar. During the nascent stages of the fire department, a generous donation in the form of a warehouse located at East Acre and Broward served as the first fire station. This donated space provided a home for a single engine that faithfully served the community from 1957 to 1978.

In 1974, a significant milestone was reached as the city constructed and inaugurated its second fire station. Around the same time, an exciting addition to the fleet arrived in the form of the first ladder truck, affectionately known as "Ladder 5." The following year, in 1975, Station 3 proudly opened its doors on 125th Avenue, welcoming the arrival of three brand new trucks. This marked yet another leap forward in enhancing the city's firefighting capabilities. The decade was characterized by remarkable expansion, as construction commenced on two additional stations, signifying the city's unwavering commitment to bolstering its firefighting infrastructure.

During a decade marked by increased responsibilities and growth, Stations 4 and 5 were inaugurated, accompanied by a significant milestone—the appointment of Robert Pudney as the first paid fire chief in the department's history. This period of expansion also witnessed the establishment of specialized teams such as the dive team and hazmat team, equipping the department with enhanced capabilities to address diverse challenges. Furthermore, Station 3 underwent a relocation and welcomed the community at its new location on Broward & Flamingo. As the department proudly commemorated its 25th anniversary, another notable addition emerged within the city—the opening of the fire museum. Serving as a testament to the department's rich history and accomplishments, the museum became a cherished resource for the community.

1996 marked a significant milestone as the rescue division commenced its operations, introducing essential emergency medical services to the city. This development ensured that timely and proficient medical assistance was readily available to the community in times of crisis. In September of that same year, Plantation's Town Mall became the backdrop for an extraordinary display of tactical firefighting. Through the concerted efforts of our dedicated firefighters, the largest firefighting operation in Broward County's history was successfully extinguished, safeguarding lives and property. The year 1997 witnessed the completion of Plantation's station network, with the opening of Station 6 located at Hiatus & Sunrise. This final addition to our station lineup further fortified our response capabilities and enhanced our ability to serve and protect the community effectively.

In 2005, the resilience of the department was put to the ultimate test as Hurricane Wilma unleashed its destructive force upon the city, resulting in a staggering $23 million in recorded damages. This natural disaster served as a stern reminder of the department's unwavering commitment to protecting and serving the community in times of crisis. During this challenging period, the city bid farewell to a revered figure, former mayor and fire chief Frank Veltri. However, before his passing, Chief Veltri made a poignant visit to the fire association's 50th anniversary BBQ—an event he had initiated years ago. In a touching tribute, his remains were solemnly carried atop the original Engine One, symbolizing his enduring legacy and deep connection to the fire department he had devotedly served.

Following the retirement of Fire Chief Robert Pudney, a succession of capable leaders took the helm, including Joe Harris, Laney Stearns, and our current Chief, Don Todd. Their dedication and expertise have guided the department through this decade, ensuring the city's ongoing safety and security. Notably, the department achieved a commendable milestone by improving its ISO rating to level two. This accomplishment reflects the department's unwavering commitment to excellence and its continuous efforts to enhance operational standards. With a fleet of modernized apparatus at its disposal, the Plantation Fire Department is well-prepared to protect the city for many years to come. These upgraded resources and equipment bolster our ability to respond swiftly and effectively to any situation, reaffirming our commitment to the community's safety and well-being.

The fire department encountered unprecedented challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, compelling the modification of activities and response plans to safeguard both firefighters and citizens. In light of the circumstances, for the first time in its 65-year history, the beloved BBQ event had to be canceled, prioritizing the health and well-being of everyone involved. Amidst these changes, another significant development took place as the old Station 1 was demolished, paving the way for the construction of a new building at Broward & The Turnpike. This forward-looking initiative ensures that the department is equipped with a modern facility that aligns with evolving needs and technological advancements, enabling us to continue delivering exceptional service to the community.

bottom of page