The local community of Coalgate had a manned tanker unit in use from 1957. In 1967 Coalgate Volunteer Fire Brigade was officially formed and their new station was opened in 1986. The Brigade covers the areas from south west of Darfield to the Southern region Alps behind lake Coleridge and extends south to the north bank of the Rakaia River. The Brigade also covers the townships of Coalgate, Glentunnel and Whitecliffs and their environs. Coalgate Brigade has an establishment of 16 firefighters. Two current members of the Brigade have over 30 years experience and service to their local community.
The settlement of Coalgate is situated approximately 58kms south of Christchurch in the mid Canterbury area. As well as rolling hills the area is bordered by mountains, some of which are covered with extensive forestry, others with native bush and scrub. There are several rivers which divide the area, the main one being the Selwyn River. As well as diverse terrain the local area is steeped in history. Many homesteads and runs established by early settlers still survive to this day. Coal mining was also carried out for many years in the hills surrounding Coalgate. Later another form of energy made it's way into the area with the opening of the Lake Coleridge Power Station.