Fire Department
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What We Do


New Canaan Fire Department serves the residents and businesses of New Canaan by protecting lives and preserving property when incidents involving fire or smoke occur. The Fire Company also responds to various emergency situations including motor vehicle accidents, downed electrical wires, and hazardous odors, leaks, or spills.

The New Canaan Fire Department consists of both career firefighters and volunteers. The Department has a full complement of twenty five made up of 16 career firefighters, 4 career lieutanants,4 career captains and a career Asst. Chief , supplemented by a well-trained group of volunteers. The Department relies heavily on volunteers, and it is vital that there is a sufficient pool of volunteers available to respond to the various calls for help. Applications for being a volunteer firefighter are accepted throughout the year.

The Town stresses the importance of keeping the fire-fighting equipment in excellent shape. Several pieces of aging fire apparatus have been replaced in recent years, with the latest being a Tanker added in 2007. Such a replacement program not only helps provide first-class fire fighting ability; it also enables the Department to meet fire protection standards established by the Insurance Services Organization, thereby enabling reduction of insurance premiums paid on homeowners insurance.

Members of the Department are trained to respond to structure and brush fires, hazardous materials incidents, motor vehicle accidents, confined space rescues, and a variety of other situations where residents need specialized assistance. The Fire Company responds to more than 850 call per year.

In addition to fire-fighting activities, the Department participates in other events that help to improve the quality of life in our Town. These include Fire Safety Day, assisting the Chamber of Commerce in preparing and installing the Christmas lights in downtown, and promoting safety in standing by at the Fourth of July fireworks site.

For further information about the Fire Company please visit the links below.

Career staff:

Volunteer staff:

Burning Permit Information
A signed permit must be obtained in person at the Firehouse each day brush will be burned. 
You may call the Firehouse after 8:00 A M to inquire if permits are being issued that day; 203-594-3140.

Burn Permit Restrictions
• When national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded:
• When a hazardous health condition might be created;
• When the forest fire danger is identified by D.E.P. Commissioner as HIGH, VERY HIGH, EXTREME and where woodland or grass land is within one hundred feet of proposed burn;
• When there is an advisory from D.E.P. Commissioner of any air pollution episodes:
• Burning of any material other than brush;
• On property other than residential property upon which the permitted resides

Burn Permit General Conditions
1. Open burning is limited to the burning of brush only, on residential property upon which the permitted resides and is subject to all Restrictions listed above.
2. Burning must cease if so directed by any member of the Town Fire Marshals Office or any officer of the Fire Department or any official of the Department of Environmental Protection.
3. All reasonable measures to assure complete combustion and reduce excessive smoke are to be taken
4. All reasonable safety precautions are to be taken, including the cleaning of grass and trees in the burn area, wetting down of the surrounding area, and the placement of fire extinguishers and hose lines.
5. Permit must be immediately available at the burning site.
6. Burning may only be conducted between the hours of 10:00 A M and 5:00 P M on a sunny or partly sunny day with the wind speed between five and fifteen miles per hour.
7. Violation of Restrictions or General Conditions may cause the forfeiture of your ability to qualify for a permit in the future.

Contact Us

Non-Emergency: 203-594-3140
Emergency: 911

John Hennessey, Chief  


Fire Headquarters
60 Main Street
New Canaan, CT 06840 

Fire Department History

A Brief History of New Canaan Fire Company No. 1

The New Canaan Fire Company as we know it was founded on December 8, 1881. Since that time, it has come to play a vital and prominent role in the community.

The original firehouse was erected on Forest Street, and in 1891 a new two-story firehouse was erected on Railroad Avenue, the present Elm Street. In 1938, the current firehouse was constructed at the intersection of Main Street and Locust Avenue. An addition which more than doubled the space for fire apparatus was constructed in 1965.

New Canaan's first fire engine was a horse-drawn hand pumper purchased in 1882 from the City of Stamford for $400. It was subsequently traded in for a truss ladder truck capable of pumping 300 gallons per minute, regarded as an astounding feat in its day.

Today's modern fire apparatus is a far cry from the early fire trucks. They are custom-built to meet the specific emergency incidents encountered in the community. The Department presently owns eight engines and trucks, each one designed to carry out a specific fire-fighting or rescue function. The engines can pump 1500 gallons a minute and carry between 500 and 3,000 gallons of water. The Department's aerial ladder truck has a 100 foot ladder. All apparatus carry state-of-the-art equipment such as the "jaws of life".

The training of Town fire fighters has also come a long way from the days of the bucket brigade. Members of the Department receive training in such topics as hazardous materials, vehicular extrication, confined space rescues, aerial ladder operations, and thermal imaging cameras. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the New Canaan Fire Company interested in volunteer applications?
The New Canaan Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 is interested in and will accept volunteer applications throughout the year.

Please e-mail the Department and provide your name, your telephone number and a convenient time for someone to call you and discuss further the opportunity to volunteer:

Mail: P.O. Box 963 New Canaan, CT 06840


Any male or female between the ages of 18 and 55
Holds a valid Connecticut driver's license
Resides in New Canaan OR resides in Connecticut and lives within 5 miles of a New Canaan border

Why does the fire department need volunteers?
New Canaan is fortunate to have a "combination department" - a department that is comprised of both paid and volunteer fire fighters. This structure enables us to economically deliver high quality fire protection to all of those who live, work or travel through town. We rely heavily on volunteers, and it is vital that we have a sufficient pool of volunteers available to respond to our neighbors' calls for help.

What is the time commitment to volunteering?
Becoming a volunteer fire fighter requires a time commitment. After all, you play a vital role in protecting our community. Training sessions are usually scheduled twice a month. In addition, business meetings are held once a month.

Will I need to stay in the firehouse when I am on duty?
No, there is a staff of six paid fire fighters on duty in the firehouse 24 hours a day. Volunteers carry pagers and respond only when needed. This gives you the freedom to go about your regular activities.

Do I need any special training?
No training is required in order to sign up as a volunteer. When you join, you participate in training drills covering basic fire fighting skills. We make every effort to work these drills around your schedule. During the probationary period, you must complete the State of Connecticut Firefighter I course. After Firefighter I certification, training continues each month to keep skills current.