The Ely Fire Department was formed in the year 1932 with just a few guys and a horse drawn hand pumper. Also used were leather caps and hand buckets which are still on display at the current fire station. In 1936 the department obtained their first motorized apparatus, built on a 1936 chassis. Throughout the years the fire department has gone through many changes, theyíve had many fire apparatus and multiple stations. Most recently they moved into a new station on Main St. in Ely in 2002. This new station has plenty of room and is something that all of the firefighters are very proud to maintain and show off. The most recent truck purchased by the City of Ely for the fire department was a 2007 Freightliner Fire Engine. This truck is state of the art with all the bells and whistles.
The Ely Fire Department of today isnít just fire suppression as it was in the old days. The fire department goes on many different types of calls, whether it be hazardous materials, to an alert at the airport of an airplane with trouble, to vehicle extrications. Many of the members on the department are medically certified as either EMTís or First Responders and they run on every medical call in the EFD district.
The fire department serves the City of Ely, Putnam township, and College township in Linn County, Iowa. The department is as it has always been, fully volunteer. As with most rural departments, this fire department has seen entire farms go up in smoke, and they have answered some of the strangest calls you can imagine. One hard thing about being on a small town fire department is dealing with incidents in which many people you know are involved in. The men and women of the Ely Fire Department consist of 25 members and are all dedicated and ready to lend a helping hand to their community consisting of approximately 3500 people.