The Philadelphia Fire Department has been serving Philadelphia for nearly 265 years. The organized volunteer firefighting service was launched on December 7, 1736, and served the community with unsung acts of bravery for nearly 135 years. In the late 1860's, city officials spoke of transforming this volunteer service into a professional fire department to meet the demands of the City's growth. In December 1870, a council meeting was held and an ordinance was issued to create a professional fire department - and the Philadelphia Fire Department was born. The legacy of our early beginnings has made us heir to a lasting public image - an image that is protected and refined by the dedicated men and women of the Philadelphia Fire Department. The mission of the Philadelphia Fire Department is to provide efficient and effective fire protection and emergency medical services to the citizens of Philadelphia. This Department strives to fulfill its mission by employing strategies such as fire abatement and extinguishment; comprehensive fire prevention programs conducted throughout the community; fire investigation services to determine the origin and cause of fire; and the delivery of high quality, pre-hospital emergency medical care and transportation in a timely and professional manner.