In the year 1896, Riverside’s Volunteer Fire Department used a horse-drawn wagon to transport equipment and firefighters to the scene of a fire. As might be observed, the fire apparatus was the most modern available at the time. The Department was then one year old. A hand-drawn two-wheeled hose cart was the first apparatus, soon displaced by the horse-drawn vehicle. Within a short time, the Department purchased a double-team cart and sent the horse-drawn contraption to the junkyard.
In 1916, the Ford Company made it possible for the Village to modernize and replace the horses with gasoline engines. The Ford truck bought in 1916 did its duty until 1924, when the Seagraves pumper was purchased. As more apartment buildings began to sprout up, the Department bought additional equipment to use along with the pumper.