COMMUNITY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
Community Fire Protection District’s 58 personnel provide Fire/ Rescue, EMS, fire prevention and code enforcement, and public education service to over 50,000 residents in the near north county area. In addition, protection is provided to those who travel two major highways, work in area business, or stay in area hotels. Services are provided to Overland, St. Ann, St. John, Charlack, Breckenridge Hills, Edmundson, Woodson Terrace, Sycamore Hills, a portion of unincorporated St. Louis County, the National Guard Base, airport fuel depot, and TWA maintenance facility at Lambert Airport. This covers an area of 12.3 square miles.
The district has three engine houses that operate two rescue pumpers, one ladder/pumper, two Advance Life Support (ALS) ambulances, and battalion chief. One pumper and one ambulance are kept as reserve apparatus.
Community was established as a volunteer fire department in 1927, and operated a Ford Model T chemical apparatus. The first recorded run was in April of 1927. It was car fire at a gas station, but was almost out by the time the Model T got there. By the fall of that year enough funding was raised to purchase a Peter Pirsch 500 gpm pumper. Department sponsored events paid for the equipment, and dues of one dollar a year. Fire tags were started in 1939 at a cost of $2.00 for homes, $4.00 for businesses. The cost had reached $2.50 and $5.00 by 1947.
On May 26, 1942, Community Fire Protection District was formed but lay dormant until 1951 when the courts order it reactivated. That same year a second floor was added to Engine House No. 1. In 1952 radio equipment was installed in all mobile equipment. Voters approved a .30 tax in 1953. Engine House No.2 was opened in January of that year. In September of 1954, Engine House No.3 was dedicated, and a fully equipped communication room was added to House No.1.
In 1954 the fire department, and fire district became one, when the board of directors for the department sold all it’s equipment to the district and then disbanded. The district now operated three engine houses, apparatus, and employed 30 paid fire fighters. This made Community one of the first paid fire districts in the county. The insurance rating of the fire district went from a Class10 down to Class 6. The district purchased a Seagrave, 85’ aerial truck in 1955.
Community made headlines in 1964 when it took delivery of the first diesel powered fire apparatus in the nation. (Globe Democrat) The Seagrave fire apparatus had a five-man cab, 1250 gpm pump, and produced 350 horsepower.
By 1970 the district had made more improvements and lowered it’s insurance rating to a Class 4. Community was the first fire district in state to gain this rating. Ambulance service was also started this year after voter approval of an ambulance tax. By the end of the decade two ambulances would be responding to calls.
In 1979 the district hired paramedics and started providing Advance Life Support services operating two ambulances.
Over the last two decades, the district has been able to make overall improvements in salaries, benefits, apparatus, and equipment. This has allowed the district to keep pace with current industry standards; and provide a better service to our customers using state of the art technology and training.