982 Fire Department History

The Champaign Fire Department has a rich history deeply rooted in the fine traditions of the fire service.  For over 150 years the Champaign Fire Department has served the residents, students, visitors, and employers of the city of Champaign.

In 1865, the Champaign Fire Department became organized by City ordinance.  The Champaign Fire Department began by way of a volunteer fire department, eventually transitioning to a career organization staffed 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

And in the greatest tradition of the fire service, each year the Champaign Fire Department holds the Edward M. Hoffman Awards Ceremony.  This event pays tribute to the devoted citizens and those Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, Champaign Firefighters and Champaign Police Officers that have displayed exemplary service to those they serve and protect during a fire or medical emergency.  This event pays homage to Edward M. Hoffman the Fire Department’s only line of duty death.  Firefighter Hoffman succumb to injuries sustained during an early morning fire that occurred on March 4, 1960.  Firefighter Hoffman left behind a wife and four children.