A huge campaign is underway to strengthen the numbers of on-call firefighters across Wiltshire. On-call firefighters are integral to the service's response to emergencies in the region.

Devizes Fire Station have been promoting all the things that are great about their station - and that includes its vast history.

Devizes’s fire brigade was first established in 1868, back when a horse and cart transported kit and firefighters, rather than the red fire engine we know today.

In the years that followed, the station went on to become known as the Devizes Municipal Fire Brigade and the Devizes base for the Wiltshire Fire Brigade.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Fire Station lining up at the disbanding of the NFS & the formation of Wiltshire Fire Brigade (1948)Devizes Fire Station lining up at the disbanding of the NFS & the formation of Wiltshire Fire Brigade (1948)

Devizes firefighters were responsible for quelling flames at a huge fire at St Peter's Church, in Poulshot, in 1916. The building nearly burnt down - but the team was able to save the church's chancel

A heating malfunction had caused the fire, and left the roof entirely destroyed.

Firefighters were tasked to run-of-the-mill thatch fires, false alarms and kitchen fires but were also, on occasion, sent outwith the county. During the Second World War, crews were deployed to Birmingham, Bath, Bristol, London and Plymouth.

Between 1948 and 2016, firefighters in Devizes worked for the Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, the county-wide, statutory emergency fire and rescue service.

Various individual brigades had been absorbed, with some villages losing their units and having fire cover provided by a nearby station within the authority.

Until 1997 the service was a division of Wiltshire County Council.

Brigade headquarters were at first in Chippenham to begin with, until HQ moved to Potterne's Manor House.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Manor House had been bought by for use as a fire brigade headquarters by the Wiltshire County Council on April 15, 1948 for £6,400. This was two weeks after the old Wiltshire Fire Brigade came into existence after the denationalisation of the wartime National Fire Service.

After 1997, when the Borough of Swindon was separated from the county of Wiltshire to become a new unitary authority, the service was administered by a combined fire authority of thirteen members, nine appointed by Wiltshire Council and four by Swindon Borough Council, called the Wiltshire and Swindon Combined Fire Authority.

Then with effect from April 1, 2016, the service was merged into the new Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

In 2021, Devizes Fire Station is classed as an on-call station, meaning its firefighters have other jobs and obligations. They commit time to the Fire and Rescue Service throughout the week and respond to emergency calls when paged.

The station, on Southbroom Road, has two fire engines and in incident command vehicle.

Devizes Fire Station are running a weekly Throwback Thursday series on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DWFRSDevizesFireStation