Our History

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The New Smyrna Beach Fire Department first became organized around 1911. Our first fire station was located at 103 North Orange Street and was staffed by volunteers. In 1916, the station was moved to Downing Street until about 1923, then the City built a new city complex on Andrews Street. The complex consisted of the fire department, police department, and the City zoo.

Our first full time paid fire chief, E. C. Henshaw had three paid firemen and three fire engines under his comand. The chief and his family lived above the station with a fire pole in their living room. Residents said that every time the siren above the station would sound for a fire call, the lion, alligator, and other animals in the zoo nearby would create a loud disturbance. The chief and his firemen were also responsible for delivering messages to the rural Samsula area because there was no electric or telephones.

From 1942-1947, the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department was ranked first in fire prevention in the State. In 1947, the Department also was ranked 68th in the United States for fire prevention and clean up. 

In 1948, the City built a new station at 103 Faulkner Street, which was in use until the Central Fire Station opened in December 2014.


In 2004, voters approved an $18.3-million general obligation bond for public safety projects. Using these funds, the City has replaced four aging fire stations with new, state-of-the-art facilities designed to shelter our public safety responders and, when needed, our residents, during large scale events.  

The Fire Department provides full service to the residents and visitors to New Smyrna Beach, including the provision of Advanced Life Support (ALS) services. Presently, 41 certified firefighters, paramedics or EMTs and administrative staff offer effective fire and emergency services.  The department responded to over 5,400 calls for service in 2017; ranging from emergency medical to motor vehicle accidents to structure and wildland fires. The department continually improves, from acquiring innovative equipment and apparatus to providing quality education and training. The department has ensured its future success through the hard work and dedication of personnel, the community, and City leaders.  It is the labor, determination, and ingenuity of the department’s past that allows it to provide quality service to residents and visitors alike.


Our Past Fire Chiefs

  • E. C. Henshaw (1923 - 1947)
  • Steve Eliott (1947 - 1954)
  • Abey Partin (1954 - 1960)
  • Ed Froman (1960 - 1979)
  • Al Bishop (1979 - 1990)
  • Michael Kelly (1990 - 1996)
  • Timothy Hawver (1996 - 2009)
  • Dave McCallister (2009 - 2014)
  • Greg Anglin (2015 - 2017)
  • Shawn VanDemark (2017 - present)