Mortdale Fire Brigade
The Mortdale Volunteer Fire Brigade opened on 10 March 1908 after agitation from the Mortdale Progress Association.
The old Kogarah Fire Station was relocated to a site purchased in Morts Road, however, this building was not suitable and a new fire station was opened in 1914.
William Murphy was appointed Captain along with six volunteer firemen. The original fire engine was a No. 45 Manual Fire Engine which was replaced by a horse drawn Hose Carriage in 1920.
A motorised engine was deployed in 1924.
In 1945, with the introduction of a new roster system and improved roads and faster engines, twenty three fire stations across the Sydney Fire District, including Mortdale, were closed as a cost cutting measure.
Staffing costs were said to be a major obstacle preventing the re-opening of the Mortdale station whilst the district awaited the construction of a new facility at Peakhurst.
In the meantime, the ‘Hurstville Council of Progress Associations’ became instrumental in the drive to re-open the Mortdale station.
Ultimately, an agreement was reached whereby the station would return function as a volunteer brigade. In 1952, Mortdale Volunteer Fire Brigade re-opened with a permanent captain, engine keeper and eight volunteers and the Peakhurst fire station was never built.
The Fire Station has changed little since 1914. The stables, which were no longer required after the introduction of motorised engines, were converted into a recreation room.
However, this room was not large enough for a billiards table, therefore the former bathroom, store, toilet and fodder room were merged to form a billiards room in about 1926.
The billiards table remained at the station until 2008 when space restraints forced its relocation to the Museum of Fire.
The paddock which had accommodated the station horses was sold to the Commonwealth Bank in 1952.
Mortdale is the oldest active voluntary fire station in the Sydney region.
The station is manned by professionally trained volunteers from the local community who deploy modern equipment to attend local emergencies as has been the case for the past century.
Mortdale Fire Station a brief history 1908 – 2008, Boyce, Gary 2007
Draft Conservation Plan for Mortdale Fire Station, Jaffrey, Robyn, 1995
Local History Vertical File, Mortdale Fire Brigade, Local Studies Collection, Hurstville City Library.