The Fire Department will begin its yearlong centennial celebration with the annual Firefighters Ball Friday night. Bill Tole and His Orchestra, specializing in big band favorites, and another band playing current hits will perform.
Tickets at $20 can be purchased by calling (213) 391-0111. The ball starts at 9 p.m. at the Miramar Sheraton Hotel, 101 Wilshire Blvd.
The centennial celebration will include food festivals, athletic events and community activities. When Santa Monica city firefighters first started putting out fires in 1889, the department’s five firefighters used a four-wheel horse cart, a hook-and-ladder wagon and a two-wheel cart to serve a population of 1,580.
Now, more than 150 firefighters, administrators and support workers serve a population of 94,000 from four fire stations.