The City of Hickory Fire Department was established in 1878 to provide a core service of fire suppression. Staff consisted of mostly volunteers who were notified by telephone to respond. Today, the Hickory Fire Department operates from 7 fire stations with 136 full-time members providing an all-hazards approach to a safe community including fire suppression, emergency medical services, technical rescue, hazardous materials, and emergency management services. The City of Hickory is a key point for furniture production as well as technology. The region is home to large data centers for Apple and Google and boasts a growing economy and demographic within its 29.8 square miles.