In 1931, after a conflagration destroyed the local grocery store, the Palm Springs Fire District was formed and a 1931 American La France 500 gallon per minute pumper was purchased.
The El Diablo Rojos (“The Red Devil”) cost $7,000.00 and to this day is the pride of the department. In 1932 The department received a class 8 rating from the Pacific Board of Underwriters. The City had 33 fire hydrants, few paved streets and 18 volunteer firefighters protecting a winter population of 3,500 and a summer population of 300. The nearest mutual aid was over an hour away — from either Banning or Indio.
In 1936 the City upgraded its water system and built a fire station staffed round the clock. Today, protecting a permanent population of 55,000 and a seasonal population of over 100,000, the City Of Palm Springs Fire Department received its most current ISO rating as a Class 3 in 2012. Four fire stations protect 96 square miles with a daily staff of 16 firefighters. Palm Springs Firefighter's responded to 9,320 calls for service in 2014.