There are 98 fire department firehouses in Chicago. The Chicago Fire Department is the third largest municipal fire department in the United States and is also one of the oldest fire departments in the country. The first fire company was formed in 1832 called the "Washington Volunteers." There are over 5000 firefighters in the Chicago Fire Department, and the department receives over 500,000 emergency calls annually.
In November of 1835, the town of Chicago established its first fire department. The CFD promotes safety, provides emergency care and extinguishes fires. There are four bureaus of operation within the CFD: operations, administrative services, logistics and fire prevention. The Bureau of Operations is the largest in the Chicago Fire Department and commands the following divisions: Fire Suppression & Rescue, Emergency Medical Service, Special Operations and the Office of Fire Investigation Division.
Within the Bureau of Operations, there are more than 4500 uniformed firefighters and paramedics, many of whom are well trained in the use of fire engines, fire trucks, ambulances, helicopters, and marine equipment. As of June 9, 2004, 12 volunteer and 551 professional Chicago firefighters have died in the line of duty, totaling 563. The current commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department is Jose A. Santiago.