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Station Focus: Alexandria Fire Brigade 1877-2024

*This information is an extract from the colour-book produced by the Museum of Fire's Heritage Team to celebrate the centenary the re-opening of Alexandria Fire Station (previously Waterloo). Should you wish to use any of the information and pictures provided we ask that you please reference the Museum correctly and contact the Museum for permission where applicable.


No. 013 Waterloo 1877-1975

The first brigade to form in the suburb of Waterloo was in 1877 and operated under the name of Mt Lachlan Volunteer Fire Company. By 1879, the brigade was struggling to remain operational and to mitigate its closure Andrew Torning, the then Mayor of Waterloo and prominent volunteer firefighter, offered to provide the brigade with training and direction.

Waterloo Volunteer Fire Brigade (formerly Mt Lachlan Volunteer Company) with their horse drawn manual pump, c. 1890 [Museum of Fire Collection]

The Mt Lachlan Volunteer Fire Company was brought under the MFB as a subsidised volunteer brigade in 1885 and would go on to rebrand in 1887, becoming known as the Waterloo Volunteer Company. They would go on to resign in 1901, placing the station completely under the authority of the MFB who instituted new permanent firefighters to the station in 1902.

 

In 1905 Crown land was acquired at the intersection of Elizabeth and Bourke Street for the construction of a new fire station. Construction for the new station was completed and the brigade began occupying the premises in 1907.

 

The Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW began looking into alternative sites to construct a new station in 1915, with an allotment of land chosen opposite the existing site. The station officially opened on 24 January 1918 and remained in use as ‘Waterloo’ until 1975.


Waterloo Station, 1973 [Museum of Fire Collection]

No. 013 Alexandria 1975 - Today

In 1975 ‘No. 013 Waterloo’ was officially relocated to the new Training College site which had opened in Alexandria in 1974. This new Training College was the first purpose-built training facility for the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB, formerly MFB and today known as Fire and Rescue NSW, FRNSW). Alongside this new facility was the establishment of a new fire station which saw the Waterloo Brigade transferred and renamed to No. 013 Alexandria.


Training would continue at Alexandria until 2018, however, in 2016 it was announced that a new state-of-the-art training facility would be constructed for FRNSW. The site chosen for the new facility was in Western Sydney’s growing business hub at Orchard Hills within the Penrith District.


While Alexandria’s precinct no longer contains the Training College, it still houses the Operational Capability Command Centre, the Communications Centre, and the Alexandria Fire Station, which in 2016 were announced to receive renovations. In 2018 to 2019 the master plan for the site and the official design for the new station was created and by 2023 renovations were complete for the Operational and Communications Command Centres. In 2024 the final renovations were completed for the fire station itself.


Alexandria Fire Station, August 2023 [Museum of Fire Collection]

In researching No. 013 Alexandria (Waterloo) (1877-today), a history of the now closed No. 008 Alexandria (1880-1945) was written which will be published in a future blog.


- Story by Museum of Fire Heritage Team

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