The Fireward Society of Dorchester and Milton was founded in 1793 to protect citizens on both sides of the Neponset River. In 1830, both towns recognized Fountain Engine No. 1 as their main source of fire protection in Milton Village and Lower Mills. Later the Hydrant Engine Company was formed in East Milton, reflecting the population growth in this area. When Milton officials recognized that their fire department could not keep up with the growing town, a chemical engine was purchased and installed in a new firehouse built in the center of Milton in 1881. Soon the town acquired a steam engine and installed it in an even larger station. Thus began the gradual development of a professional, full-time fire department in Milton.