The department by 1916 had increased their strength in men, for at this time there were 126 officers and firefighters. The motorization of the Fire Department was the last large change in the basic structure of the department. From the time of the introduction of motorized apparatus, up to and including the present, the motor-driven apparatus has undergone improvement after improvement until it has developed into a dependable and efficient firefighting machine.
The Department continued to grow in size to match the growth of Yonkers. During the years following the motorization, new engine and truck companies were added, as needed, and new stations were build to house them. By August of 1921, twenty-five years after the start of the paid department, the size of the paid department had increased from one engine company and one truck company to ten engine companies and four truck companies.
Rescue Co. #1 was organized and placed in service on March 3, 1930 and quartered at Fire Headquarters. Engine Co. #12 was placed into service on June 17, 1930 at 75 Fortfield Ave. A new firehouse was opened for Engine Co. #7 at 441 Central Park Ave. in 1931 and on Jan5, 1932 Truck Co. #5 went into commission and was also located at this new station. In 1933, Engine Co. #8 moved from Woodworth Ave. to 539 Warburton Ave.
Until 1934, fire alarm boxes were numbered in the order that they were placed in operation. During that year, the system of numbering fire boxes was changed. All the old fire alarm box numbers were discontinued. Under the new system, all fire alarm boxes had four identifying numbers. This system of numbering the fire boxes divided the city into forty-two sections. These sections were assigned certain numbers to identify them. The first two numbers of a fire box in any particular section corresponded with the specific area of the city in which they were located.
On June 25, 1939, a new pension plan for firefighters, controlled and administered by the State of New York, replaced the City of Yonkers Pension Plan.
With the start of World War II, an auxiliary force of civilian firefighters was trained by the Fire Department in firefighting procedures in case of an enemy attack. The auxiliary firemen numbered about five hundred. These men were assigned to firehouses near their homes and in the event they were needed they were to report to the firehouse. They were disbanded when the war ended.
During the war, several companies were removed form active service. Engine Co. #5 of 53 Shonnard Pl. was put out of commission on Feb. 1, 1942. It was never returned to service. Also, Rescue Co. #1 and Truck Co. #5 were removed from service on Feb. 1, 1942. Both were returned to service on Apr. 19, 1943, but Truck Co. #5 went out of service again until February 17, 1946. In August of 1946, when the Yonkers Fire Department was fifty years old, it consisted of seventeen companies.
Two-way radios were added to the Fire Department in the 1940’s. The only apparatus to be originally equipped with radios were the chief’s car, two assistant chief’s cars and Rescue Co. #1. These radios were on the same radio frequency as the Yonkers Police Department. On Sept. 1, 1961, the Fire Department received its own radio system
In January of 1956, the Fire Department was divided into two sections, the East Division and the West Division. The dividing line was the Nepperhan Creek from the northern city line south to Ashburton Ave., eastward along Ashburton Ave. to the Saw Mill River Parkway and south to Yonkers/New York City line.
Truck Co. #6 was placed in service on March 27, 1956 in a new firehouse at 340 Kimball Ave. Engine Co. #13 was placed in service on Aug. 13, 1956 and was located with Truck Co. #6. Another new firehouse was built in 1958 at 2187 Central Park Ave. Engine Co. #14 was placed in service on Dec. 1, 1958 and quartered in this new firehouse. On Sept. 29, 1959 the Telegraph/Dispatch Bureau was relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. #12 on Fortfield Ave.
On March 31, 1961, Truck Co. #5 was moved from the quarters of Engine Co. #7 to the quarters of Engine Co. #12. Truck Co. #7 was placed into service Dec. 21, 1967 and was quartered with Engine Co. #14.
On July 31, 1970, the Fire Department absorbed the Bureau of Combustibles, which had been a separate bureau under the department of Public Safety. In 1971, seventy-five years after the creation of a paid fire department, the Fire Department had 13 engine companies, 7 truck companies, and 1 rescue company with a uniform force of 405 men.
Next Article of Series is: “The Paid Department At 75”