The West Branch Fire Department was originally formed following a series of fires in West Branch during the 1870s. On June 4, 1879, a group of interested citizens met and organized the Alert Bucket Brigade. On May 9, 1898, the name was changed to the West Branch Fire Department and J.T. Butler was elected the first chief of the department, a post he held until his death in 1934. Other chiefs since have included Jim Vincent, Earl Hunter, Glenn Brown, Ray West, Frank E. Corbin Jr., Murray Gibson, Kenneth Jeffries, Dick Stoolman, and Kevin Stoolman.