About Us

UC Davis Firefighters opening a vent hole in the roof of a home on fire.

A Tradition of Excellence & Service to Safeguarding Innovation

The UC Davis Fire Department was established in 1917 as a student/faculty fire brigade in support of what at the time was the Berkley Farm.

The Department was formalized in the 1950s, for a then stand-alone UC Davis campus, with the hiring of the first full-time career fire chief and career daytime staffing.

Student firefighters continued to provide night staffing until the University transitioned to 24-hour career firefighter staffing in 1977.  Since then, the Student Resident Firefighter program has continued to supplement the career staff during the school term. 

The Fire Department is co-located with the UC Davis Police Department in a single public safety building in the Pavilion District campus. The Department staffs one engine and one aerial ladder truck daily with a minimum of six career personnel, with Student Resident Firefighters providing augmented staffing during the school term. The Department is also the lead agency for the Yolo County Multi-Agency Hazardous Materials Response Team and has a specialized Hazardous Materials Response (HazMat) unit for this service.

This uniqueness and diversity of population and risk, as well as education and research, compels the Fire Department to provide an all-hazard, all-risk approach to its service delivery and take extra precautions to prevent the loss of critical research data.  The loss of any of these due to a fire or other disaster could take years or decades to replicate and could have severe consequences for the affected discipline’s research for many years.