Establishing Fire Hydrants
Before Runnells had a city water system and fire hydrants, the only means to fight a fire was the bucket brigade and hand fire extinguishers. But, by 1952 city water was a reality. The first equipment purchased was a hose cart. This was moved to the fire hydrants and used to assist in fire fighting.

In March 1955, a volunteer fire department was organized to respond to the call for help in times of need. Soon, rules and regulations for the group were necessary and members were required to have a physical exam and papers to certify their eligibility of membership.

Fire Trucks
The 1st fire truck was delivered November 23, 1955. It was owned by Camp Township and operated by the City of Runnells. A 2nd truck was obtained in September 1957, to be used as an extra water supply. A panel truck was purchased in the fall of 1960 for a rescue unit.

The 1st effort to raise money for the fire department was held on March 29, 1958. Chili was sold for $0.25 a bowl and coffee for $0.10 a cup. The department has sponsored dances, trap shoots, and suppers to raise money for extra equipment and supplies throughout the years. As the fire department developed and funds were made available, a new fire truck and rescue unit were purchased.

Construction of a New Facility
In the fall of 1986, construction was completed on a new 5,550 square-foot fire station. It was built on the site of the old building and is located at 104 Brown Street, Runnells. Abild Construction Company of Des Moines was hired to build the station and do most of the electrical work, while Runnells Skelgas Company installed the heating system in the main garage. Firefighters completed the plumbing work and put up the light fixtures. The station was built with meeting rooms, kitchen, bathroom and shower facilities, in addition to storage for all fire and rescue equipment.

Since it's inception, the volunteer fire department and rescue unit have been a comfort to people in the area, knowing help is only a phone call away.