For the first 73 years of its existence, Perth’s Fire Brigade was located in the undercroft of Town Hall. By 1899, the city council realized that this was inadequate and commissioned plans for a stand alone building for the fire service. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth at the time, Matthew Gibney, sold some land opposite the Royal Hospital to the city for the purpose of constructing a new building for Fire Brigade Number One. Designed in the Romanesque Revival form, and opened in 1901, this one story building housed two steamers and two hose carts. By 1910, it became evident that the building needed to be expanded so that additional equipment could be housed. An addition was made to the back side of the building. The fire fighters stationed in what became known as the Central Fire Station, soon discovered the young ladies in the nursing school across the street and during leisure periods would climb the tree outside the nurse’s quarters to socialize. Fire Brigade No. 1 vacated the building in 1979 for newer, more spacious quarters. The Old Central Fire Station underwent a restoration project between 1983 and 1985, resulting in its reopening as a Fire And Emergency Services Education and Heritage Center. As has happened several times in the past, this museum was an unexpected discovery while traveling to another attraction.
The original fire station housed three equipment rooms and a Watchroom on the ground floor, while the upstairs included the dormitory for the fire fighters and the Chief Officers Quarters.