Honea Path was incorporated in 1852 and with this incorporation came the formation of a bucket brigade. A pump in the town square and the brigade saved many a building in the early years.
At the turn of the century, the town started installing water mains and fire hydrants which ushered in a new era in firefighting.
A two-wheel hose cart hand drawn by the brigade served the community until 1916.
The hose cart was replaced by a Segrave hose and chemical car on a Ford chassis. At this time, The Honea Path Fire Department was formally organized, under Chief G.W. Page. The truck had a 40 gallon chemical tank, 2 ten gallon extinguishers, 600 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose, ladders, axes, and pike poles. The department was an all volunteer force of 16 men.
In 1927, the Segrave body was taken from the Ford and placed on a new Chevrolet chassis.
In 1944 the town placed a new Peter Pirsch pumper into service. The 500 gallon per minute pump on this new truck allowed hydrant pressure to be boosted, improving fire extinguishing capabilities. This truck also had a 250 gallon tank to supply water for small fire extinguishment.
The original fire station was located behind the old town hall, which became the city jail when the new city hall was built in 1932.
The new building housed the fire department until 1981. Also with the building of the new town hall, the old fire bell was discontinued as the means for alerting the volunteers and replaced by the siren which was used until 1975 when a new radio alerting system was installed. The radio alerting system is still in use.
The old fire siren is still tested on Saturdays at noon. The old bell is located at the present station.
The town took delivery of an American Lafrance 750 gallon per minute pumper with a 500 gallon gallon tank in 1958.
The 1927 truck was taken out of service, which left fire protection in the best shape in town history with 2 up to date triple combination pumpers.
In 1973 a John Beam 750 GPM pumper was bought and the 1944 pumper was retired.
1981 the department was moved to its current location on N. Shirley Ave. In 1983 a new Grumman 1000 GPM pumper with a 1000 gallon tank was placed in service. This was the first diesel powered apparatus placed into service by HPFD.
A Rosenbauer 1500 GPM pumper with a 1000 gallon tank was delivered in 1995, and the 1958 LaFrance was retired.
A 2004 Rosenbauer custom 1250 GPM pumper was placed into service and for the first time, the town had 4 pumpers in service.
A used Sutphen ladder truck was bought to improve fire protection and to improve fire insurance rates in 2005. Due to increased maintenance costs, the used 1972 ladder was replaced with a new Rosenbauer 75 foot aerial with a 1500 GPM pump and a 400 gallon tank in 2009.
In 1996, due to increased demands on EMS, a first responder program was started and a light duty rescue/mini pumper was purchased from Rosenbauer. This unit had the chassis replaced in 2016.
Also in 2015 the 1973 pumper was replaced with a used 1996 Sutphen purchased from The City of Greenville. A new Rosenbauer 1500 GPM pumper was placed into service in 2018, and the 1983 Gruman was retired.
In 2009, the department assumed EMS services from the Honea Path Rescue Squad, becoming Honea Path Fire/ EMS. The department went from all volunteer to a combination paid/ volunteer service operating from 2 stations, one on N. Shirley Ave. and the other on Gains Rd. EMS service is provided with 3 ALS ambulances and 3 BLS ambulances.
HPFD has been under the direction of the following chiefs since it's beginning:
G. W. Page 1911-1946
Floyd A. Walker 1946-1969
R. Ray Cox 1969-1982
R. Leon Thornton 1982-1995
James A. Smith, MD 1995-
Through the unselfish dedication and untold hours of labor by the town's volunteers and now paid staff and volunteers, the town enjoys exceptional fire and emergency medical services with a class 2 ISO rating.