History of the Tybee Island Fire Department

The Tybee Island Fire Department, formerly named "The Savannah Beach Fire Department", was established in 1936. Prior to 1936 the station was located on Cedarwood Drive in historic Fort Screven. Fort Screven’s Army protected the island from fire.

A. P. "Pop" Solomon, Jr. originally started the 1st fire department, who was also the owner of the city’s water supply. He built a leaning shed on the side of his residence and housed the city’s first municipal fire engine. It was a 1936 International 500 gpm, open cab, standard shift engine. The City of Tybee kept it in their possession till the 1970’s and sold it. "Pops" would use his own employees from his business if you called the telephone number 60. Mrs. B.L Solomon said a bell was rung manually if the workers and "Pop" were away from the house. He never docked any workers that fought fire even if they were there all day long.

Perry (A.P. Solomon III) and Edmund J. Solomon have all followed in the footsteps of "Pop" by becoming Fire Chiefs. The whole Solomon family has donated many hours to the community. We presently have a 5th generation Solomon, "Seth", carrying on the family tradition.

In the 1940’s the fire station moved to Jones Avenue and 5th Street. The station housed the 1936 International and 2 rescue type vehicles. After that we had a 1952 Dodge homemade Fire Engine with 500 gpm, 1963 Peter Pirch 750 gpm, and 1971 Ward LaFrance 750 gpm. A 1969 American La France was purchased from the City of Savannah which was sold in 1980. In 1978, we purchased a 78 MAC that was guaranteed to fit in the station and it didn’t - that's what led to us to build the new station located next door.

Our new station houses the 78 Mac refurbished in 1993, an 85 FMC 1250 gpm and an 88 FMC 1250 gpm. It also houses our Squad 6 and a transportation vehicle. John Perry Solomon was named Fire Chief in 1971 after joining the department in April of 1962. In 1986 our present station was built and dedicated to Chief Solomon by Tybee's Mayor Walter W Parker for his many years of service and dedication to the City of Tybee Island.