Sacramento, California is home to the first volunteer fire department in the western United States. In the late 1840’s Sacramento consisted of many wooden buildings which were built quickly and placed close together. A series of fires during the gold rush era promoted people in the area to form a volunteer fire department called Mutual Hook and Ladder No. 1. Over time this volunteer fire department grew. Roughly 20 years after it’s formation, in 1871, a bill was passed turning the Mutual Hook and Ladder into a paid Sacramento Fire Department. 150 years later, the Sacramento Fire Department has 24 stations and fields over 60,000 calls a year.