Empire Volunteer Fire Department formed in 1876 and building a fire house on Main Street to shelter the shining new hook and ladder wagon complete with a pump cart. The 18 charter members, wearing brightly colored caps and wide leather belts appropriately inscribed Empire Fire Department practiced rigorously with their new trappings. Fire calls were few and far between. The hook and ladder wagon is still existent in a remarkable state of preservation.
In 1989, the Empire Volunteer Fire Department signed an intergovernmental agreement with the Clear Creek Emergency Services General Improvement District (ESD), which was formed in 1988 by the voters in the unincorporated areas of Clear Creek County. As a participant with the ESD, Empire contributed to the consolidated fire protection effort in Clear Creek County through intergovernmental agreements with Idaho Springs, Georgetown, and Silver Plume.
In 1998 Empire became part of the Clear Creek Fire Authority, which is presently the governmental entity responsible for providing fire protection in Clear Creek County. (Info provided by Clear Creek Fire Authority).