Islands Fire Department
Islands Fire Department History
In 1957, Mr. Lamas, Ed Sikes, Mr. Westgate, and Harold Davis sat down and discussed the need for a fire department. Those four men formed the Wilmington Island Volunteer Fire Department. The first station was located on the south end of Wilmington Island, JC Park. The first fire truck was an oil truck donated by Mr. Sikes. This oil truck carried 500 gal of water, exterior front mounted pump, and (2) 1 ½ hose lines. The process for when a fire was reported was one volunteer would run to the station and sound a large siren to let the rest of the volunteers know there was a call. Next they would try to start the truck. Most of the time the truck would have to be pushed so they could pop the clutch to get it started.
During the next few years the department was slowly growing. In 1973, the Sheraton Hotel, currently Wilmington Plantation, insurance company did not recognize WIFD as a fire department. So WIFD went out and received 100 subscriptions at $50.00 a piece to have Southside Fire Department join and send a fire truck and a paid firefighter to the islands area. Part of that agreement was that the station would be moved to a cottage at the Sheraton. At this time WIFD had about 30 volunteer firefighters.
Later in 1973, a fire station (current spot of Station 4) was built on Wilmington Island Rd. This location at the time of being built was located in the center of WIFD coverage area. Out of this station 90% of the Islands area could be covered. This station layout was based on a layout of a Jacksonville Fire Station. Original design had arches above the bay doors but with fire trucks getting taller the arches were removed. In 1983, due to the growth of the Island area Station 8 was added on Highway 80. Lastly Station 14 was added in 2008 with the adding of Elba Island, Causton Bluff and Emerald Point to our coverage area.
Above are historic photos of Islands Fire Department. Click on photos to enlarge. We would like to make this album grow. Please submit your photos.
Islands Fire Founded
Moved to Sheraton
Station 8 Built
Station 14 Built
The Islands Fire Department is a Volunteer Organization that protects an estimated 24,000 people living in an area of 18 square miles located east of Savannah, Ga. We operate out of three stations, which are located at 155 Wilmington Island Rd. Station 4, 4800 E Hwy 80 Station 8,and 2606 E President St. Station 14. Between the three stations we have 4 engines, 100′ ladder, medium rescue, 3000 gal tanker. The are we coverage is a mixture of residential and commercial. We also help with mutual aid for Thunderbolt Fire Department and Tybee Fire Department.
We conduct weekly training drills to keep our Firefighters ready for any incident that may arise. Among our training techniques are structure fires, vehicle fires, brush fires, pressurized container fires and many more.
Project Lifesaver is an innovative and rapidly growing program in the United States that provides aid to victims and families suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders such as Down’s Syndrome and Autism.
Our department participates in a number of community events throughout the year. Visit our events page to view a calendar of the upcoming activities this year. Come out and support your local fire department.
Our department wants to make our community a safer place. We are always in our schools teaching children and parents fire safety. Programs include Stop, Drop, and Roll, Calling 911, and Don’t Play with matches.