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The Winston-Salem Fire Department possesses a dynamic history stretching as far back as 1785, predating most other fire departments in the United States. The history of our department is one of two cites, Winston and Salem, that after 128 years of service joined efforts in 1913 to become what is now known as the "Winston-Salem Fire Department." Throughout its history, our department has made many great historic and technological strides — from having one of the first colonial water systems to having the first paid African-American firefighters in the south. The goal since its inception has been to provide the citizens of Winston-Salem with the best protection against disaster. Our early pioneers would be proud to know that after 236 years we are still mustering into the future working hard to be "One of Excellence." - Written By: The Winston-Salem Fire and Rescue Historical Society