Merging the Departments
In 1913, voters in Norwalk voted to consolidate the cities of Norwalk and South Norwalk as well as the East Norwalk fire district. As part of the consolidation, the volunteer companies in the three departments were merged into one department.

First Chief & Deputy Chiefs
George Bogardus, who had been the volunteer fire chief in South Norwalk, was appointed as the first full-time chief of the City of Norwalk Fire Department. Three volunteer deputy chiefs - one for each district - were named as well: William Powell was the deputy for Norwalk, Samuel McGowan became the deputy for South Norwalk, and Fred Wheeler was the East Norwalk deputy.

Paid Members of the Fire Department
Central Station in South Norwalk became the Fire Department's headquarters. At the time of consolidation, the paid members of the Fire Department were:
  • Chief Bogardus
  • Hugh Cook
  • Dan Corcoran
  • George Gainer
  • Howard Finch
  • Samual McGowan
  • Mortimer Roberts
  • Art Slauson
  • Paul Soltes

In 1913, the paid drivers worked 24 hours a day, six days a week, with time off for meals. The men were paid $16 a week. The apparatus was a mix of horse-drawn and motorized vehicles.

World War I
During World War I, the federal government commandeered the Phoenix steam pumper for use at a shipyard on Wilson Point. When the yard closed at the end of the war, the government wanted to return the steamer to Norwalk, but the city felt the old steamer was worn out and asked them to replace it with a modern pumper. The federal government refused to do this and instead moved the steamer to city hall, where they abandoned it. The steamer was sold as scrap in 1922. The city sued the federal government for $10,000, but nothing ever came of the lawsuit.

The End of Horse-Drawn Fire Trucks
In 1917, the department purchased a motorized American LaFrance city service ladder truck. In 1919, a Mack city service truck was purchased. The city service ladder truck carried ground ladders and other equipment, but no aerial ladder. With the 1919 purchase, the city retired the last of its horse-drawn fire trucks.

The Roaring Twenties
Many changes came to the Fire Department during the 1920s. Read on to find out about these changes.