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Squad 1 was organized in Harlem at Engine 59 in 1955, moved to the Bronx at Ladder 58 in 1972, then to Engine 45 in 1975 and then disbanded in 1976. Squad 1 was re-established in 1977 in Brooklyn at the former quarters of Engine 269; which had been closed during the budget crisis.

The local community had placed great pressure on the city to reopen the former house of Engine 269 and the city responded by reopening it and making it the new quarters for Squad 1.

The new Squad 1 was assigned a fully equipped pumper with ladder company hand and power tools. Squad 1ís responses included the former first due boxes of Engine 269 and working fires within a designated area. In 1998 the City of New York recognized the need to have more specialized units that could handle hazardous materials incidents as well as increased readiness for incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Six more engines were then designated as Squad Companies. Engine Company 41 was already an enhanced engine company but was redesignated as a Squad Company.

Squad 1 responds as an engine in its first, second and third due assignments and as a Squad Company to working fires, high angle, collapse, confined space, subway emergencies and hazardous material emergencies in Brooklyn and through out the city as needed. Squad 1 responds to approximately 1800 runs per year.