FACTS OF DISTRICT 3
DEMOGRAPHICS: 32 SQ MILES
- 904 Incidents
Dartmouth’s three fire districts are autonomous local units serving the Town of Dartmouth but entirely separate from the Town. Voters within each district elect their own Prudential Committee. The position of Fire Chief is appointed by the Prudential Committee.
Dartmouth Fire District 3 operates from three stations and is responsible for North Dartmouth, beginning at the New Bedford line two hundred feet south of Allen Street, running westerly in a line parallel to Allen Street and two hundred feet southerly from the south line of Allen Street to Tucker Road and westerly in the same course to the Town of Westport line.
Fire Station Locations
Station 1 at 140 Cross Road
It is equipped with a pumper truck, ladder truck, forestry truck, and rescue truck.
Station 2 at 1140 Hixville Road
It is equipped with two pumpers, a tanker, and a forestry truck.
Station 3 at 254 State Road
It is equipped with a pumper and a mini-pumper.
Personnel & Experience
The Fire Department comprises forty-six Firefighters paid-on-call, one full-time Fire Inspector, four full-time Firefighter/EMTs, one full-time Senior Administrative Assistant, and a full-time Fire Chief.
All our firefighters are certified as First Responders. Nineteen firefighters are certified EMTs, including three full-time firefighters. We currently do not offer ambulance services.
Annual meetings allow voters to approve a general policy, budget, and capital outlay. The District is financed by property taxes levied by the Fire District meetings.
In 1652, thousands of acres of land in the Southeastern region of Massachusetts, belonging to the Wampanoag Indians, was purchased by a group of Plymouth colonists and named after the English seaport of Dartmouth, England. At the time, the purchase included the surrounding towns of Acushnet, Fairhaven, New Bedford, and Westport.
Dartmouth’s corporate existence, however, began twelve years later, in 1664. It wasn’t until 1674 that the Town established a form of government of a Town Meeting by elected officials; the same form of government is still practiced today.
Only after King Phillip’s War in 1675 did the Town’s population and industries begin to flourish rapidly. The early eighteenth century was a period of prosperity and expansion for Dartmouth. In that time, the Town constructed the first Quaker Meetinghouse called the Apponegansett Meetinghouse (Est. 1699), rebuilt in 1790 and still stands today on Russells Mills Road. In 1991, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1900, the inhabitants of Smith Mills, a village in the Town of Dartmouth, formed an association to better the community. Thus, Paskamansett Engine Company No. 1 was established. The organization’s primary purpose was to create and maintain a place for social meetings and to house the Company’s fire engine and equipment.
The Engine House was approximately 20’ x 24’ and stood in front of the present one, facing the south side of what was Kempton Street, what is now State Road (Route 6). The first Smith Mills fire engine was hand-operated and pulled by manpower or horses. In the center of the engine was a tank, which water was drawn into and pumped out by men, who worked the bars up and down to suck water through the tank and force it out a hose. On the roof of the Engine House hung a large bell operated by a rope.
On Wednesday, September 25, 1901, the front-page headlines of The Evening Standard read, “HEROIC WOMEN! Assist in Extinguishing Serious Blaze at Smith Mills. Hawes’ Hall Building Almost Totally Wrecked. New Bedford Department Summoned to the Scene.”
For over two decades, the citizens of Smith Mills relied on the small Paskamansett Hand Engine and the New Bedford Fire Department to protect the town. Still, on January 12, 1923, they began to discuss the formation of fire districts and the obtaining of necessary fire apparatus. On April 5, 1923, Smith Mills Fire District was established. In May 1923, the district’s name was changed to Dartmouth Fire District 3.