The Perryville Fire Department was organized on May 9, 1874 as Perryville Fire Company No. 1. The Department originally formed with one foreman, two assistant foremen, a member to serve as secretary, and a member to serve as treasurer.
The original fire engine house was located on the inside of the courthouse square (courthouse lawn area). The fire engine house was of brick construction with a bell tower and was completed in the later part of 1874. The fire house stored a hand pumper, which is on display at Fire Station No. 1 and the two hose carts that were purchased later that same year. The hand pumper was manufactured by the L. M. Rumsey Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and was shipped downriver on the steamboat Elliot. The fire bell was cast that same year in St. Louis and delivered for the new fire station. The original fire bell is on display at the Fire Department.

In March, 1899, the new chemical engine arrived. It was a Meyrose Double-Cylinder Chemical Engine. The engine was according to the local newspaper "handsomely painted and the trimmings are of brass and copper, giving it a beautiful appearance." The fire engine was lettered "Excelsior, Perryville, MO."

Today there are forty regular personnel, including one Fire Chief, three Assistant Chiefs, three Captains, and two Lieutenants, five reserve firefighters and a fire corps. We have five engines, one ladder truck, two rescue trucks, a special operations unit, and a command vehicle. The Fire and Police Departments share a communications/command bus. The Perryville Fire Department and the Rural Perry County Fire Protection Association share a Water and Technical Rescue Unit.

The Department operates out of two fire stations and two emergency services facilities that house specialized fire, police, and emergency management equipment.