In 1913 Mr Percy Douglas (Melbourne Fire Brigade) was brought to Canberra by the Department of Transport to form the new ''Canberra Fire Brigade''. The Brigade was housed in a tin shed near the Acton Guest House on the Molonglo River. At this stage the Brigade consisted of a horse-drawn cart and was manned by one officer and two volunteers but due to the outbreak of war the Station was disbanded and did not reform until the early 1920's.
A building at the rear of the Kingston Power House was opened as a Fire Station and in 1924 the first ''motor-powered'' Fire Engine was purchased. The appliance was a converted Hotchkiss chassis and operated into the 1930's as a combined Fire Engine / Ambulance. In 1935 the Canberra Ambulance Service was transferred to the Fire Brigade.
In 1939 the Forrest Fire Station was opened and comprised a crew of 12 men.
In 1952 Charles Holdom was appointed Chief Officer.
In 1955 the Ambulance Service was transferred to the Canberra Community Hospital Board.
On 4 April 1958 the NSW Board of Fire Commissioners incorporated the Canberra Fire Brigade. The strength of the Brigade at that time was: 1 Inspector; 4 Station Officers; 26 Firemen and 4 Special Servicemen. The appliances were 3 Fire Engines, 2 Water Tankers and a Trailer Pump.
The Brigade grew in manpower and equipment and in 1974 negotiations began between the Prime Minister's Department and the NSW Board of Fire Commissioners to have the control of the Fire Brigade returned to local administration.
In January 1976 the Brigade was returned and assumed the title of the ACT Fire Brigade. The Fire Commissioner was JK Mundy and the staff consisted of 1 District Officer, 23 Station Officers, 82 Firemen, 2 Electrical Technicians and 2 Industrial staff. The appliances at this stage were 6 motor pumpers, 1 Turntable ladder and 3 water tankers.
The fire stations that have opened since inception are:
- Forrest 1939, No 1 then relocated to Fyshwick on 31 March 1983
- Ainslie 30 March 1962
- Phillip 2 May 1969
- Belconnen 27 September 1971
- Tuggeranong (Kambah) 22 October 1979
- Charnwood 18 February 1981
- Chisholm 15 October 1986
- Greenway 14 December 1990
- Gungahlin 13 Febuary 1998
Today the ACT Fire Brigade employs over 300 fulltime professional firefighters and about 1000 Community Fire Unit Volunteers.