Champaign Fire Department Celebrates 150 Years

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CHAMPAIGN--The Champaign Fire Department is celebrating a major milestone Wednesday: its 150th birthday.

The department was born on July 8th, 1865, back when fighting fires meant using buckets and a horse drawn engine.

Now, CFD has trucks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, equipment to help extricate people trapped in cars, and a haz-mat team to clean up dangerous spills and leaks.

But some of its most valuable tools are the ones they use daily.

"The things that we take for granted, we do, probably more than anything else [are] the things that we use every day, like the air pack, or our gear," said Deputy Chief, John Barker. "And technology has advanced that over the years way beyond what I'm sure that the guys who started this fire department would ever imagine."

When considering what's next for firefighting, Champaign Firefighters say they've been approached by students interested in developing drones that would carry equipment to the scene.

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