The Village of Rhinebeck was settled in 1688 and was incorporated in 1834. The Rhinebeck Fire Department was founded on July 7, 1834 to provide fire protection to the inhabitants of the village.
In 1859 a new Button Hand Pumper, which was named "Pocahontas", was purchased and operated by the village fire department. This early engine was pulled by hand and did not carry any water or hose. The hose was carried on another piece of apparatus called a hose cart. Water was obtained either from the nearby creek or from cisterns located under the roads at street corners. "Pocahontas" is still in working order and is displayed in parades and other events.
In earlier years there were two separate companies. The H.S. KippHose, and the Relief Hook and Ladder Co. These two companies merged in 1963 to form the Rhinebeck Fire Department. In 1970, the department took in the old Rhinebeck Rescue Squad to continue to provide the citizens of Rhinebeck with ambulance service.
Still to this day, the services of the Rhinebeck Fire Department are provided by volunteers. The old 2 bay firehouse was located on West Market Street just west of the Beekman Arms.
Today the department consists of 2 class "A" Pumpers, a 110' Aerial Truck, a Rescue/Engine equipped with the "Jaws of Life" and air bags for the lifting of heavy objects, and an ambulance that is Certified in Basic Life Support, and carries a defibrillator to help sustain life for heart problems. The department also operates a 6x6 ATV to get into hard-to-reach spots, a Fire Police pickup truck, as well as an EMS fly-car to handle secondary EMS calls in the district. Our department works closely with neighboring departments to provide mutual aid coverage, ensuring that our neighbors are safe at all times, day or night.