The Fire Departments or Fire Districts of Contra Costa County, California, Active in 2013.

Compiled by Alan E. Nielsen Sr.

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Crockett-Carquinez Fire Protection District: ISO Rating 3/9

Web Site: Crockett-Carquinez Fire Protection District

The Crockett-Carquinez Fire Department protects the communities of Crockett, including Valona, Selby, Tormey and Port Costa. 
It was originally two fire Districts, The Crockett County Fire Protection District and the Carquinez County Fire Protection District formed through a merger on November 30, 1965
Prior to that, and in 1932, The Tenney Terrace Fire District [1926] and the Crockett-Crolona Fire District [1909] merged in 1932 and formed the Crockett County Fire District.
The Carquinez County FPD remained independent but consolidated in 1965.

Station 77 - Located at 49 Canyon Lake, Port Costa [Constructed in 1990]
Station 78 - Located at 746 Loring Avenue, Crockett [Constructed in 1957]
Station 79 - Located at 1423 Lillian Street,  Crockett [Constructed in 2002]
Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District:  ISO Rating 3/9

Web Sites:  Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District was originally formed December 29, 1964 with the merger of the Central Fire Protection District and the Mt Diablo Fire Protection District. Station 1, Station 2, Station 3, & Station 4 in Walnut Creek, and Station 2, & Station 5 in Pleasant Hill, were part of the Central Fire Protection District. Station 6, Station 8, and the old Station 10, in Concord, Station 9 in Pacheco, Station 11 in Clayton, and Station 7, now Station 86 in Baypoint, were part of the Mt Diablo Fire Protection District. 

The Mountain View Fire Protection District became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District on December 1, 1966. Station 12 was the district station and served the unincorporated area of Martinez. 

The Martinez Fire Department became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on July 1, 1968 after the passage of Measure F which was on the ballot. Station 13 & Station 14 were the Martinez Fire Department stations. 

The Lafayette Fire Protection District became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on January 1, 1969, after Lafayette became an incorporated city and voted to annex to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. Station 15, Station 16, & Station 17 were the district fire stations. 

The Bay Point Fire Protection District was annexed to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on January 1, 1969. It had no paid personnel. Station 18 was one of the two stations in this district. The other station was in Port Chicago and is now occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard as an admin facility. 

The Island Fire Protection District was split up into three service areas. Service areas F3 & F4 were in the East County area and considered unincorporated Antioch & Pittsburg area. Service area F5 was in the Waterfront area of Avon. Service was provided by the surrounding districts through a contract. For many years, Service area F5 was contracted with the Mountain View Fire Protection District. Service area F5 was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on October 1, 1970. Service Area F3 & Service Area F4 became part of the Riverview Fire Protection District on January 1, 1975.

The Briones Fire Protection District was annexed to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on November 1, 1971 and had only a part-paid chief. Station 19 was in the Briones Fire District. 

The Riverview Fire Protection District was formed July 1st of 1975 by combining the Antioch Fire Department and the Pittsburg Fire Department along with the West Pittsburg portion of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in one district. On November 1, 1977, the Allied Chemical area of Port Chicago Highway was removed from the Contra Costa County Fire District and annexed to the Riverview Fire Protection District. The Riverview Fire District was dissolved on July 1, 1994 and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District. Station 81, Station 82, Station 83, Station 84, Station 85, Station 86, & Station 88 were the Fire Stations included. 

The San Pablo Fire Protection District was annexed to the El Sobrante Fire Protection District on June 30, 1975. The combined district was renamed the West County Fire Protection District effective July 1, 1977. The West County Fire Protection District was dissolved on July 1, 1994 and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on that date. Station 69 & Station 70 were the Fire Stations included. 

On July 1, 1980, the remaining portion of the Shell Oil complex in Martinez along with the PG&E Power Plant were annexed to the Contra Costa County Fire District. 

On July 1, 1994, the Oakley Fire Protection District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. Station 93 & Station 94 were the Fire Stations included. 

On January 1, 1999, the former Oakley Fire Protection District was reestablished and is no longer part of the Contra Costa County Fire District. 

On July 1, 1994, the Pinole County Fire District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. There were no fire stations included as this district contracted with the City of Pinole for fire protection. 

            Station 1  - Located at 1330 Civic Avenue, Walnut Creek [Constructed in 1964] [Photo]
                             This was Central Fire Protection District Station 1 & Headquarters before merger.
                             The original Station 1 was located on Bonanza Street between North Main & Locust. 

            Station 2  - Located at 2012 Geary Road, Pleasant Hill [Constructed in 1966] [Photo]
                             This was Central Fire Protection District Station 2.
                             The original Station 2 was located at 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill. 

            Station 3  - Located at 1520 Rossmoor Parkway, Walnut Creek [Constructed in 1996, occupied February 3, 1997] [Photo]
                             This was Central Fire Protection District Station 3.
                             The original Station 3 was located at 2273 Whyte Park Avenue, Walnut Creek 

            Station 4  - Located at 700 Hawthorne Drive, Walnut Creek [Constructed in 1956] [Photo]
                             This was Central Fire Protection District Station 4. [This Station was closed January 15, 2013]

            Station 5  - Located at 205 Boyd Road, Pleasant Hill [Constructed before 1963] [Photo]
                             This was Central Fire Protection District Station 5. 

            Station 6  - Located at 2210 Willow Pass Road, Concord [Constructed in 1939] [Photo]
                             This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 1 & Headquarters. The Dispatch Room was also located there. 

            Station 7  - Located at 1050 Walnut Avenue, Walnut Creek [Constructed in 1989 and first occupied April of 1990] [Photo]
                             The original Old Station 7, now Station 86 was located in West Pittsburg and annexed to the Riverview Fire District. [Photo]
                             This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 2 before the merger. 

            Station 8  - Located at 4647 Clayton Road, Concord [Constructed in 1957] [Photo]
                             This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 3 before the merger. 

            Station 9  - Located at 209 Center Avenue, Pacheco [Constructed in 1957 and first occupied April 13, 1957] [Photo]
                             This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 4 before the merger. 

            Station 10 - Located at 2955 Treat Boulevard, Concord [Constructed in 1967] [Photo]
                              The original Station 10 was located at 1015 Oak Grove Road near Fox Way in Concord
                              This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 5 before the merger. 

            Station 11 - Located at 6500 Center Avenue, Clayton [Constructed in 2002] [Photo]    [This station went to part time use on January 15, 2013]
                              The original Station 11 was located at 5850 Clayton Road, Clayton and was constructed in 1964 [Photo]
                              This was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 6 before the merger. 

            Station 12 - Located at 1240 Shell Avenue, Martinez [Constructed in 1950, modified in 197 to add new Dormitory] [Photo] [This Station was closed January 15, 2013]
                              This was the Mountain View Fire Protection District Headquarters Station. 

            Station 13 - Located at 251 Church Street, Martinez [Constructed in 1964] [Photo]
                              This was the Martinez Fire Department Station 2 before annexation. 

            Station 14 - Located at 521 Jones Streen, Martinez [Constructed in 1952] [Photo]
                              This was the Martinez Fire Department Station 1 & Headquarters before annexation. 

            Station 15 - Located at 3338 Mt Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette [Constructed in 1967] [Photo]
                              This was the Lafayette Fire District Station 1 & Headquarters before annexation.
                              The original Lafayette Fire District Station 1 was located on Moraga Road just off Mt Diablo Boulevard. [Photo]
                              The original Lafayette Fire District Station 2 was closed when the new station on Mt Diablo Boulevard was constructed. 

            Station 16 - Located at 4007 Los Arabis Drive, Lafayette [Constructed in 1957] [Photo] [This Station was closed January 15, 2013]
                              This was the Lafayette Fire District Station 4

            Station 17 - Located at 620 Saint Mary's Road, Lafayette [Constructed in 1958] [Photo]
                              This was the Lafayette Fire District Station 3 

            Station 18 - Located 145 Sussex Street, Clyde [Constructed in 1954] [Photo]
                              This was the Baypoint Fire Protection District Station 2
                              It housed two apparatus and had a small meeting room for the reserve firefighter crew 

            Station 19 - Located at 1019 Garcia Ranch Road, Martinez [Constructed in 1979] [Photo]
                              This was the Briones Fire Protection District Station located on the property of Frank Nunes who was also the Fire Chief 

            Station 22 - Located at 5050 Crystyl Ranch Road, Concord [Constructed in early 1999 and Occupied in February of 2000]  [Photo]                 

            Station 69 - Located at 4647 Appian Way, El Sobrante [Constructed in 1949, apparatus bay added in 1959] [Photo]
                              This was the El Sobrante Fire Protection District main station and later West County Fire protection District

            Station 70 - Located at 13928 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo [Photo]
                              Original Station declared unsafe in 1993, Mfg Home put in for crew and garages in back for apparatus.
                              This was the San Pablo Fire Protection District Station 1 & Headquarters it became Station 70 in West County fire. [Photo]

            Station 81 - Located at 315 West Tenth Street, Antioch [Constructed in 1957] [Photo]
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 81 which was annexed on July 1, 1994.
                              Before Riverview creating on July 1, 1975 this was the Antioch Fire Department Station 1 & Headquarters
                              This station also housed the Dispatch and Gamewell Fire Alarm system for Antioch Fire Department. 

            Station 82 - Located at 196 Bluerock Drive, Antioch [Constructed 2002 and occupied March 2003] [Photo]
                              This station was built by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District at the new location.
                              The original Riverview Fire Protection District Station 82 was located at 2900 Lone Tree Way, Antioch [Photo]
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 82 which was annexed on July 1, 1994
                              Before Riverview was created on July 1, 1975, this was Antioch Fire Department Station 2. 

            Station 83 - Located at 2717 Gentrytown Drive, Antioch [Construction Date 1972] [Photo]
                              The was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 82 which was annexed on July 1, 1994
                              Before Riverview was created on July 1, 1975, this was Antioch Fire Department Station 3. 

            Station 84 - Located at 1903 Railroad Avenue, Pittsburg [Constructed in 2010 and occupied in October of 2010] [Photo]
                              This station was built by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District at the new location.
                              The original Riverview Fire Protection District Station 84 was located at 200 East Sixth Street, Pittsburg  [Photo]
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 84 which was annexed on July 1, 1994.
                               Before Riverview was created on July 1, 1975, this was Pittsburg Fire Department Station 1 & Headquarters.
                               This station also house the Dispatch and Gamewell Fire Alarm system for Pittsburg Fire Department. 

            Station 85 - Located at 2331 Loveridge Road, Pittsburg [Constructed in 2009] [Photo]
                              This station was built by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District at the new location.
                              The original Riverview Fire Protection District Station 85 was located at 2555 Harbor Street, Pittsburg
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 85 which was annexed on July 1, 1994.
                              Before Riveriew was created on July 1, 1975, this was Pittsburg Fire Department Station 2. 

            Station 86 - Located at 3000 Willow Pass Road, Baypoint [Constructed around 1949]
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 86 which was annexed on July 1, 1994 [Photo]
                              Before Riverview was created on July 1, 1975, this was Contra Costa Fire Protection District Station 7.
                              Before Contra Costa Fire Protection District was created, this was Mt Diablo Fire Protection District Station 2 .

            Station 87 - Located at 800 West Leland Road, Pittsburg [Constructed in 1999] [Photo] [This Station was closed 7/8/2013]

            Station 88 - Located at 4288 Folsom Drive, Antioch [Constructed Fall of 1995 and first occupied on March 1st, 1996] [Photo]
                              This was Riverview Fire Protection District Station 88 which was annexed on July 1, 1994
                              The original Riverview Fire Protection District Station 88 was located at 4527 Deerfield Drive, Antioch 

            Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center

 

Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center    [Photo]

Web Site: Contra Costa County Fire District: Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center

Web Site: Contra Costa County Firefighters Local 1230 IAFF:  Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center

     

East Contra Costa Fire District

Web Site: East Contra Costa Fire Protection District

The East Contra Costa Fire District was formed in November of 2002 by combining the Bethel Island Fire District, The East Diablo Fire District, and the Oakley Fire District.  

            Station 16 - Located at 11851 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton [CalFire Sunshine Station]
                              This station belongs to Cal-Fire which ECCFPD contracts for service within the Marsh Creek area. 

            Station 52 - Located at 201 John Muir Parkway, Brentwood [Constructed in 2001] [Photo] 

            Station 54 - Located at 739 First Street, Brentwood [Constructed in 1957] [Photo] [Closed 7/1/2012] then [Reopened 5/1/2013][Closed again 9/2/2014]
                              This station was the Brentwood Fire Protection District headquarters station. 

            Station 57 - Located at 3024 First Street, Byron [Constructed in 1964] [Closed]
                              This station was the Byron Fire Protection District headquarters station 

            Station 58 - Located at 1535 Discovery Bay Boulevard, Discovery Bay [Occupied September 8, 1980] [Closed] 

            Station 59 - Located at 1685 Bixler Road, Discovery Bay [Constructed in 2002] [Photo] 

            Station 93 - Located at 530 O'Hara Avenue, Oakley [Photo]
                              This station was constructed in 2011 and replaced the old station 93 on 2nd Street. [First occupied 08/18/2011]
                              This station was the Oakley Fire Protection District headquarters station. 
                              This station was formerly located at 212 2nd Street, Oakley. [Constructed 1963]

            Station 94 - Located at 15 A Street Knightsen. [Constructed in 1964] [Photo] [Closed 7/1/2012] [Reopened Nov 18, 2012]
                              This station was in the Oakley Fire Protection District 

            Station 95 - Located at 3045 Ranch Lane, Bethel Island. [Constructed in 1950]  [Photo] [Closed 7/1/2012]
                              This station was in the Bethel Island Fire Protection District and was the headquarters station. 

            Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center  

 

El Cerrito Fire Department

Web Site: El Cerrito Fire Department

The City of El Cerrito Fire Department provides service to the City of El Cerrito and provides contract service to the Kensington Fire Department under contract. 

            Station 65 - Located at 217 Arlington Avenue, Kensington [Photo]
                              This is the former Kensington Fire District headquarters station, now occupied by El Cerrito Fire personnel. 

            Station 71 - Located at 10900 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito [Photo]
                              This is the El Cerrito Fire Department headquarters station. 

            Station 72 - Located at 1520 Arlington Boulevard, El Cerrito [Photo]       

            Dispatched by Richmond Police/Fire Dispatch

 

Federal Fire Department, Concord:

On September 30, 2008, the Naval Weapons Station Concord transitioned over to the Army to Become Military Ocean Terminal Concord  [MOTCO] and has been operated by the Army ever since.

In August of 1996 Fire Protection at the Concord Naval Weapons Station became the Federal Fire Department and  under command of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach Detachment, Concord.  

Station 25 - Located in Concord Naval Weapons Station - Inland Area
Station 26 - Located in Concord Naval Weapons Station - Tidal Area 

 

Moraga-Orinda Fire District

Web Site: Moraga-Orinda Fire District 

Formed by the merger of the Orinda Fire Protection District and the Moraga Fire Protection District on July 1, 1997.  

Station 41 - Located at 1280 Moraga Way, Moraga [Constructed in 1967]  [Photo] 
                   This was originally Moraga Fire Protection District Station 1, then 41. It was also Moraga's Headquarter Station

Station 42 - Located at 555 Moraga Road, Moraga [Constructed in 2001]  [Photo]

                   This was originally Moraga Fire Protection District Station 2, then 42

Station 43 - Located at 20 Via Las Cruces, Orinda [Constructed in 1952] [Photo]

                   This was originally Orinda Fire Protection District Station 3, then 43
 
Station 44 - Located at 295 Orchard Road, Orinda [Constructed/Rebuilt in 2006] [Photo]
                    This was originally Orinda Fire Protection District Station 2, then 4, then 44


Station 45 - Located at 33 Orinda Way, Orinda
[Constructed in 1969]  [Photo] 
                   This was originally Orinda Fire Protection District Station 1, then 5, then 45. It was also Orinda's Headquarter Station
Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center 

Pinole Fire Department

Web Site: Pinole Fire Department

Station 73 - Located at 880 Tennent Ave., Pinole [Opened in 1984] [Photo]
Station 74 - Located at 3700 Pinole Valley Road, Pinole  [Photo] [Closed due to budget reductions]
 Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center   

 

Richmond Fire Department:  [1901-Present] ISO Rating 3

Web Site:  Richmond Fire Department

Station 61 - Located at 140 W Richmond Avenue, Richmond
Station 62 - Located at 1065 7th Street, Richmond
Station 63 - Located at 5201 Valley View Road, El Sobrante
Station 64 - Located at 4801 Bayview Avenue, Richmond
Station 66 - Located at 4100 Clinton Avenue, Richmond [Constructed in the Early 1040's]
Station 67 - Located at 1131 Cutting Blvd., Richmond
Station 68 - Located at 2904 Hilltop Drive, Richmond 
 Dispatched by Richmond Police/Fire Dispatch 

 

Rodeo-Hercules Fire District: [1937-Present]

Web Site:  Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District

In the early 1920's the first Fire Chief for the Rodeo Volunteer Fire Department was Mr. Frank Delmonte. He and his men fought fires armed only with buckets of water. Chief Demonte was succeeded by Chief Sam Kramer. Chief Kramer was succeeded by Chief Tom Lewis who lead the department with a hand-drawn hose cart.

By 1927, the need for an official fire house had become apparent. Under the leadership of Fire Chief E. Gomez, the entire community pitched in to make it possible. Land was purchased with bank notes guaranteed by community members. A highly successful Whist party, attended by many citizens, helped contribute towards the repayment of the bank notes and also provided funds for construction of a fire house. In April of 1927, the original brick fire house on Third Street in Rodeo held official dedication ceremonies. The new fire house became a focal point for the all-volunteer fire department, the community, and many civic organizations. Ten years after the fire house had been built, the importance of the growing Department was well recognized.  

In 1937, the official Rodeo Fire District was formed as an independent special district in Contra Costa County, with a Board of Commissioners to govern it. In 1946, the Board of Commissioners, led by then Fire Chief Lloyd Cooper, approved an order to have a firefighter on duty at all times, to give added protection to the community. 

In 1965, Arthur Cooper was hired as the first paid Fire Chief for the Rodeo Fire Protection District. The order was given to hire more full time staff. Throughout the years, it has been the community; the Board of Directors; and paid and volunteer firefighters who have pulled together and supported the fire District's every need. One example of the community support given was in 1976, when it was recognized by the local Rodeo Rotary Club Leader, Mr. Ernie Van Alstyne, that a fund-raiser was needed to purchase the District a Hurst Jaws of Life. A fund raiser got under way and when one-fifth the money was raised, Mr. Van Alstyne ordered the tool. Mr. Van Alstyne was quoted as saying, "I took a chance," he told the chamber group, "because there just might be an accident tonight where we would need the jaws".  

The District received the Jaws of Life in October of 1976.  

In the 1980's, the District's full-time personnel jumped to almost double and its boundaries expanded to cover the City of Hercules to form the present-day Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District. In 1984, a temporary Fire Station No. 76 was built by the City of Hercules because of its rapid growth. In 1991, the City of Hercules built its first permanent fire station. Today, the District is an independent autonomous Fire District serving an area of approximately twenty-six square miles with a population of 28,000. The District contains a major oil refinery (Tosco San Francisco Refinery at Rodeo), a large wildland interface, an industrial park with numerous underground fuel pipelines, two major rail lines, the Interstate 80 freeway, and State Route 4. 

In the 1980's, the name of the District was changed from the Rodeo Fire Protection District to the Rodeo-Hercules Fire Protection District.

The District is bordered on the south by the Pinole Fire Department, on the north by Crockett-Carquinez Fire Department, and on the East by Contra Costa Fire Protection District. It is governed by a five member, locally elected Board of Directors and derives its principal funding from normal property taxes and benefit assessments. The District's revenue is fixed according to the assessed valuation of the properties within the District's boundaries. In 1995, the District rebuilt the existing fire station in Rodeo through funding from the State of California Earthquake Safety Bond Act of 1990 and the Contra Costa County Redevelopment Agency. Developer Fees enabled the District to purchase a new Type I engine in 1995 and an additional Type I engine is currently on order. The District is currently led by Fire Chief, Gary Boyles. He is assisted by Battalion Chief, Alan Biagi, who is responsible for all fire prevention and investigation matters for the District. The District has six suppression captains, six engineers and six firefighters. Three firefighters have received their paramedic licenses with an additional five in the process of completion. All department training is provided by the shift Captains. Each Captain takes responsibility for two months of planned training per year for the department. The District's personnel are dedicated to serving the public with the most professional fire and emergency services in the area.  

As of November, 1999, the District contracted with the Contra Costa County Regional Fire Communications Center to enhance the District's dispatching services. The Fire Communications Center offers enhanced medical dispatching on all 911 emergency calls. This service has expanded the District's efforts to better serve the citizens of the District.

The District responds to an annual average emergency call volume of 2,009 incidents (149 Fire Calls, 1045 Rescue and Medical Calls, 73 Hazardous Materials Calls, 534 Public Assistance Calls, and 208 Mutual or Automatic Aid calls). The Fire Prevention Bureau annually conducts 323 fire code maintenance inspections, 149 fire investigations, and public education presentations throughout all of the District's primary grade schools. Department personnel receive extensive training in EMT-1D, Haz-Mat first responder, trench rescue, swift water rescue and hi-low angle rescue. Among the many other community programs, the District participates in monthly blood pressure screening for its senior citizens and holds an annual bicycle helmet safety program and station tours for local school children.  

The District takes pride in its community involvement. The District and citizens have supported and encouraged participation in its reserve program for over 80 years. The program provides weekly Tuesday night training as well as a mandatory ride-along program. The reserve program, stemming from the District's roots, has continued to provide augmented manpower to the District's highly trained full-time personnel during emergency situations. The District is very proud to say they have had affiliation with CSFA for over 50 years.

 [Courtesy of the Rodeo-Hercules web site]  

Station 75 - Located at 326 Third Street, Rodeo [Temporarily Closed] [Photo] [Reopened Oct 1, 2014]
Station 76 - Located at 1680 Refugio Valley Road,  Hercules [Photo]
 Dispatched by Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center

 

San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District:

Web Site: San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District

In December of 1979, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) initiated the consolidation of the Danville Fire Protection District and the San Ramon Fire Protection District. 

On July 1, 1980, with the merger complete, the two Districts were renamed the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District [SRVFPD]. The new District serviced the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon, within a 70 square mile area. The organization was comprised of 4 fire stations, 27 emergency vehicles and 71 employees. With the reorganization of these two districts, the newly formed District became governed by 5 locally elected Board of Directors, independent of the County Board of Supervisors. 

Some ten years later, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and the Tassajara Fire Protection District initiated a merger process. In January 1991, LAFCO completed the annexation of all territories of the Tassajara Fire Protection District and transferred them to the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, which included Tassajara Valley and the southern boundary of Morgan Territory. Simultaneously, the Tassajara Fire Protection District was dissolved. 

In July 1997, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and the City of San Ramon moved forward with an annexation of the Dougherty Regional Fire Authority to the SRVFPD.  With this annexation, the District extended its fire service boundary to the Contra Costa/Alameda County line. 

Created through the merger of the Danville Fire Protection District and the San Ramon Fire Protection District in March of 1980.  

 Admin      - Located at 1500 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon [Photo]
Station 30 - Located at 11445 Windemere Parkway, San Ramon [Constructed 2001, Occupied June 1, 2002]  [Photo]
Station 31 - Located at 800 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Danville [Constructed in 1970]  [Photo]
Station 32 - Located at 1101 Stone Valley Rd, Alamo [Constructed in 1957] [Photo]
                   This station was the original station 2 from the Danville Fire Protection District

Station 33 - Located at 1051 Diablo Road, Danville [Diablo] [Constructed in 1965]  [Photo]

                   This station was the original station 3 from the Danville Fire Protection District
Station 34 - Located at 12599 Alcosta Blvd, San Ramon  [Constructed in 1980][Photo]
                   This station was replacement for the original San Ramon Fire District main station
Station 35 - Located at 505 Silver Oak Ln, Danville [Blackhawk][Constructed in 1985] [Photo]
Station 36 - Located at 2001 Lusitano Street, Danville [Tassajara] [Constructed in 2009] [Photo]
                   This station was a replacement for the original Tassajara Fire District main station.
                   The original fire station 36 was located at 6100 Camino Tassajara Rd and now is used as Training Center.
Station 37 - Located at 10207-A Morgan Territory Road, Livermore [Constructed in 1992]  [Photo]
                   This station is staffed only by reserve firefighters
Station 38 - Located at 1600 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon [Constructed in 1989] [Photo]
Station 39 - Located at 9399 Fircrest Lane, San Ramon [Constructed in 1998] [Photo]
                   This station was originally from the Valley Community Services District, later known as Dublin-San Ramon Fire District. Their Station 2.
 Dispatched by San Ramon Valley Fire Communications Center 
Images Courtsey of San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Website

 

The Early Fire Departments or Fire Districts of Contra Costa County, California. 

Antioch Fire Department:  [1874-1975]  

Antioch Fire Department was originally a City Fire Department. On December 18, 1874, the citizens of Antioch met and organized the   Fire Department of that town. In the 50's and earlier, the fire station was located in the basement of the old City Hall. 

Antioch Fire Department was dissolved and became part of the new Riverview Fire District which was formed on July 1, 1975. They had three stations in the merge, Station 1, Station 2, & Station 3.

Station 1 remained Station 1 and later renamed Station 81
Station 2 remained Station 2 and later renamed Station 82
Station 3 remained Station 3 and later renamed Station 83

Bay Point Fire District: [1920-1969]  

The Bay Point Fire District included the town of Clyde, and the surrounding open terrain. In 1907, a lumber mill opened for business on the edge of the bay. Encouraged by the new venture, a small town grew by the name of Seal Bluff. Pacific Coast Ship Builders arrived in 1918 and constructed a yard to build warships for the government. The Clyde Company, a subsidiary of Pacific Coast Ship Builders, formed a town to house the ship builders and their families. The town was named the Town of Clyde. 

In 1918, the Clyde Hotel was constructed, a large three-story structure of wood frame construction with 173 rooms. The hotel was abandoned just a few years later in the early 1920's. The town of Seal Bluff changed its name to Bay Point and a fire district was established, but history is not clear concerning the dates this took place. Bay Point grew into a port town for unloading ships' cargos for transport by railroad. Inspired by the main trade of the community, the town again changed its name to Port Chicago. Because the fire district covered other areas as well as the town of Clyde, it retained the name Bay Point Fire District. 

      In January 1942, a few short weeks after the tragic bombing of Pearl harbor, the Navy established the site of Port Chicago as an ammunition depot. The Navy acquired over 6,600 acres of land and instituted its own fire protection, leaving Bay Point Fire District to continue service to the public areas. The Navy built two ship berths and two more were under construction when, on July 17, 1944, a cargo ship exploded while unloading ammunition. The explosion was so devastating, repercussions in the form of shattered windows were experienced as far away as Martinez, Concord, Walnut Creek, and south to San Jose. The blast sank ships in the Delta more than a mile away and literally blew an airplane out of the sky. The explosion killed over 300 people and demolished most of the town of Port Chicago. In the late 1960's, the navy decided to eliminate the town for fear of future blasts. This left only the town of Clyde, composed of a few blocks of homes adjacent to Navy facilities, with one small fire house bearing the name Bay Point Fire District. 

On January 1, 1969, Bay Point Fire District was annexed into Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and the fire station in Clyde became Fire Station 18, staffed by reserves firefighters.  

The Port Chicago Fire Station was taken over by the U.S. Naval Weapons Station, later called Concord Naval Weapons Station Fire Department.  

Bethel Island Fire Protection District:   [1947-2002] 

The Bethel Island Fire District was formed in 1947. It had one fire station, built in 1951, now Station 95, located on the Island and was staffed mostly by volunteers 

Bethel Island Fire District was dissolved and became part of the new East Contra Costa County Fire District on November of 2002. 

Brentwood Fire Protection District:   [1928-1984] 

The Brentwood Fire District was formed in 1928. It had one fire station, 91, in downtown Brentwood.  

Brentwood Fire District was dissolved and became part of the East Diablo Fire Protection District in 1984.

Station 91 became Station 54 in East Diablo Fire Protection District

Briones Fire Protection District:  [1951-1971]  

Briones is a sparsely populated area covering approximately 16 square miles between the cities of Martinez and Lafayette on the east, and Pinole and El Sobrante on the West.

The Briones Fire Protection District was formed in 1951 by a vote of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. The first fire station was more of a lean-to than a fire station, housing a dilapidated engine at the old "Pig Farm" on Alhambra Valley Road. Frank Pereria served as fire chief until 1960. 

Henry Duarte succeeded Chief Pereira as fire chief until 1966 when Frank Nunes assumed the job. Nunes began his career as a volunteer firefighter for the Mountain View Fire District in 1956 while still an employee of Shell Oil Company. Nunes joined the Briones Fire District in 1963 as a reserve firefighter. A resident of Briones Valley, Nunes soon became chief and the station was located at this residence on Bear Creek Road. 

Briones Fire Protection District was self dispatched. The telephone and radio equipment were located at the Nunes home next to the Fire Station. Dispatching was taken over by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District after being annexed to the district.

On November 1, 1971, the Briones Fire Protection District was annexed to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and the fire station became Fire Station 19

Byron Fire Protection District:  [1929-1991] 

The Byron Fire District was formed in 1929. 

It served the unincorporated area of Byron and later the Community of Discovery Bay. 

The Byron Fire District had two fire stations. Station 97 located in Byron and Station 98 located in Discovery Bay. 

The emergency telephone had three locations at which it could be answered. The main fire station in Byron, the local hardware store and one of the local taverns. The radio equipment was located and controlled from the Byron Fire station.

The Byron Fire District became part of the East Diablo Fire Protection District in December of 1991.

Station 97 became Station 57 in East Diablo Fire Protection District
Station 98 became Station 58 in East Diablo Fire Protection District  

Carquinez County Fire Protection District [xxxx-1965]

The Carquinez County Fire Protection District was formed on an unknown date and then merged with the Crockett County Fire Protection District in November 30th of 1965 to form
the Crockett-Carquinez Fire Protection District.

 

Central Fire District:  [1921-1964]

During the pre-1900 era, Central Contra Costa County was a rural area dotted with a few small towns including Walnut Creek. These communities were built almost entirely of tinder-dry wood, a potential for serious fires. 

However, the threat of fire was not confined solely to buildings. Central Contra Costa County was a fertile agriculture valley supporting many acres of crops and orchards. Vast areas of grass and brush were also native to this region, creating a summertime threat of extensive wildland fires. 

Prior to 1875, there was no formal fire protection in the Mt. Diablo central valley where the city of Walnut Creek was becoming established. Frequent uncontrolled fires threatened the property and residents of the community. 

In 1867, a wind-whipped grass fire ignited the dry hills of Walnut Creek and swooped down on the town, destroying several homes and businesses, including the Walnut Creek Hotel and the Whitman Store. The following year, another serious fire demolished four business buildings and threatened homes located at the present site of Mt Diablo and Cypress Streets. A third major fire occurred in the Main Street vicinity in 1875, charring more of the downtown area. 

After these fires, a hook and ladder fire company was formed for the City of Walnut Creek. Funds to purchase hose and ladder equipment were donated by local business men. Stored on a hose cart, the hose was made of stiff heavy canvas, measuring two-and-a-half inches in diameter and equipped with a four foot long brass nozzle. 

In 1893, Walnut Creek Fire Department volunteers purchased a new hand pumper which carried 200 feet of two inch rubber hose and 400 feet of one-and-a-half-inch canvas hose. This unit was pulled by hand to the scene of a fire and pump pressure was generated by firefighters on each side, hand pumping on two eight-foot oak bars. The water supply was provided through a hard suction hose dropped into a nearby well or cistern. When a well was unavailable, the firefighters had to revert to the 24 leather buckets carried on the pumper and form a bucket brigade. 

The next motorized piece of fire apparatus was a Model T Ford with two 25-gallon chemical tanks. This unit was purchased from the American LaFrance Company for $1,000. Funds were again solicited from donations in a drive led by business men and property owners Jess near and Ted Hook. 

Jess and Ted were both important figures in the early formation of fire protection for Central Contra Costa County. Due to insurance company rules, the chemical engine was restricted to town, which left the rural areas without fire protection. Mr. Near traveled to Sacramento and successfully lobbied the State Legislature to change the law, allowing fire district to be formed. Fire protection was expanded outside city limits. 

In July of 1921, Ted Hook presented a resolution, backed by the County Farm Bureau, to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors seeking the prevention of fires in Contra Costa County. The Board of Supervisors responded positively to the request for better fire protection and several fire districts were formed between 1921 and 1926. In September, 1922, the County Board of Supervisors set a tax rate to finance the fledgling fire districts. The County officially acted to provide fire protection on May 23, 1923. Ray "Guy" Spencer was appointed the first Fire Chief. 

The newly formed fire district built its first fire station on Bonanza Street between Locust and Main Streets. A new American LaFrance fire engine was purchased. The Central Fire Protection District covered the incorporated City of Walnut Creek and approximately 32 square miles of surrounding land, including the unincorporated Pleasant Hill area.

Volunteer Delbert McCoombs and his family moved into the living area over the new fire house. Mrs. McCoombs answered the telephone alarm calls alerting the firefighters. Bill Nottingham, who later became Central's Fire Chief, was employed for the summer months of the wildland fire season as Central Fire District's first paid employee. Gradually, as the area grew and fire calls increased, additional volunteers were added as full-time paid firefighters. Eventually, the Central Fire Protection District developed into a professional, paid fire district with five fire stations. 

On December 29, 1964, the Central Fire Protection District merged with the Mt Diablo Fire Protection District to form the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

CENTRAL FIRE STATIONS 

Station 1 - Walnut Creek [1926-1964]
Station 2 - Pleasant Hill
Station 3 - Walnut Creek
Station 4 - Walnut Creek
Station 5 - Pleasant Hill  

 

Concord Hook & Ladder Company No. 1

The first fire department in Concord was organized March 24, 1879, under the name Concord Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.

On May 19, 1880, the trustees of the company, P. Kline, M.N. Breckenridge, and C. Navas, purchased a parcel of land on Concord's Mt. Diablo Street for $50.00. The site was slated for the construction of the first Concord fire house.  

Five years later, a building contract was awarded to J.W. Guy for the construction of a two-story fire house which was completed in 1892 at a cost of $870.00. The building was later relocated to Fernando Street, now know as Willow Pass Road. The structure was utilized by the Fire Department until May 1939, when it was remodeled as City hall. Since then, the same building has functioned as a police station and the Concord Chamber of Commerce. 

Purchased in 1887, the first piece of fire equipment was a hand drawn truck with ladders, buckets and axes. On May 6, 1895, a hand-operated Gould Pump, manufactured by Woodin and Little Company of San Francisco, was purchased and the fire department was reorganized under the leadership of Fire Marshal R. M. Matheson. 

There are no complete records of the fire department until 1924 when R. W. Vargas was appointed Fire Marshal for the City of Concord. Vargas initiated an organizational format for the Department in January, 1925

In 1929 the Concord Fire Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 and Mt Diablo Fire Protection District were merged. 

Concord Naval Weapons Fire Department

The Concord Naval Weapons Fire Department was founded June 27th, 1942 as the U.S. Naval Magazine Port Chicago Fire Department. It was a full time professional fire department.
In June ofd 1963, the name changed to Naval Weapons Station Fire Department.

It became the Federal Fire Department when the base basically closed in August of 1996..

Return to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

 

Contra Costa County Fire-West Pittsburg Area

The firest fire station in West Pittsburg was an old shed behind the True Value Hardware and was replaced in 1950 bye what is now Contra Costa County Fire Station 86

Contra Costa County Fire-West Pittsburg area was originally part of the Mt Diablo Fire Protection District which became the Contra Costa County Fire District in 1964. 

Contra Costa County Fire-West Pittsburg area became part of the new Riverview Fire District on July 1, 1975. Station 7 to Station 6 and later renamed Station 86  

Riverview Fire District was dissolved and became part of Contra Costa County Fire District on July 1, 1994. Stations 81 thru 88.  

Crockett County Fire Protection District [1932-1965]

The Crockett County Fire Protection District was formed in 1932 by the merger of the Tenney Terrace Fire District and the Crockett-Crolona Fire District

On November 30th 1965, the Crockett County Fire Protection District and the Carquinez County Fire District merged to form the Crockett-Carquinez Fire Protection District

 

Danville Fire Protection District:

The Danville Fire District began 85 years ago at a meeting of the Danville Improvement Club. At this meeting, it was decided that a volunteer fire brigade needed to be organized. The idea was unanimously approved, and the name Danville Farm Defense Fire District was established. 

By 1921, a state law permitted the organization of special fire districts, and empowered them with the authority to levy a tax for their support. At that time the County Board of Supervisors appointed J. Jones, W.A. Ward and Frank Rutherford Commissioners of the District, effective September 6, 1921 and thus became the Danville Fire Protection District, a public agency and a political subdivision of the State of California. The new commissioners discussed the boundaries of the district and though San Ramon was considered in consultation with Mr. Wiedemann, it was finally decided to use the boundaries of the Danville, Sycamore and Green Valley School District, an area of approximately fifty square miles. 

By 1922, the department began making purchases. The first fire truck was purchased in April for $4,140. It was a Reo-American La France 45 chemical, and was to be delivered in forty-five days. The department waited in eager anticipation, because the only equipment in-hand consisted of a trailer with 10 10-gallon milk cans full of water. Whoever got there first with a trailer hitch, pulled it to the fire. Gunny sacks were soaked in the water and then used to beat out the fire.  

In May, the commissioners called a "preparedness meeting." They appointed Mr. Oscar Ollsson Fire Chief, R.J. Monroe Assistant Chief, and H.M. Fitchenmueller Captain. Chief Ollsson was directed to organize the department by having seventeen firemen ready when the new fire engine arrived.  

E.C. Wiester, Secretary to the Board, was to look into an option on a lot in Danville that belonged to M.J. Laurence. 

July marked the dream come true. At a meeting, Commissioners Jones and Freitas appointed officers, the seventeen firefighters met, and along with the brand new fire truck, were ready, willing and able to go to work. Commissioner Jones spoke and then presented each firefighter with a badge of authority. Following this meeting the men proceeded to "Pete's Grill" for a "Dutch Treat" which was enjoyed by all.   

In January of 1923, the department bought a lot for a firehouse for $600. The Fire Commissioners election was in October of 1923. Ward, Fitchenmueller and Ed Weister presided.

The first purchase of 4 helmets, coats and gloves was in April of 1924. In June, George Groom, Fitchenmueller and Ed Weister presided over the meeting. The electric fire siren that was purchased in December or 1924 was installed atop the tower to summon volunteers. Buttons were installed in three different locations including one at the telephone office.

The original lot that had been purchased for $600 was sold in July, 1925 for $600 and a new lot was purchased for $600. This new lot was to become the site of the first firehouse, which is still intact, at 150 N. Hartz Ave., Danville. 

A San Francisco architect selected the building style and proposed its cost to be approximately $5,000. In August, Randolph Hook submitted a proposal to build the desired firehouse for $4,997.50. His proposal was accepted. Chief Ollsson stepped down in September and Assistant Chief Fitchenmueller was advanced to Chief. The firehouse was completed and accepted on December 2, 1925. 

Duane Elliot, who ultimately spent over 50 years fighting fires in the Alamo-Danville area, took care of the fire truck and the fire station as a boy. The fire truck was kept in a garage behind his home on Diablo Road,so he would just "jump the fence" to do his job. He would sweep out the fire station, too. In March of 1928, Elliott was paid $10 for his work in January and February. 

Also, in 1928, Mr. Macomber donated a Dodge truck for conversion to fire truck #2, Commissioner Podva was elected to the Board, and a bill for PG&E of $17.50 for two months service was reluctantly approved. Commissioner Wiester later met with PG&E and learned that nothing could be done to obtain lower rates that were practical. 

By 1932, Duane Elliott and Fletcher Collins were listed as volunteer firemen. In May, the Commissioners received an insurance underwriter's report that required exorbitant expense to obtain a Class B rating and the Commissioners rejected improvements at that time. They concluded it might be more economical not to have a fire department, the tax levy at this time was 10 cents per $100 assessable valuation. At this meeting Commissioner Wiester reported that there was a lot of chewing the fat about hard times and the Depression, but as the Commissioners could do nothing about it, the meeting was adjourned.

In August, Raymond Camacho and Amiel Dondero were added to the member roster. Fitchenmueller stepped down as Commissioner in 1935, and John and Manual Camacho and Merle Johnson were added to the member roster. Steve Johnson took Howard Groom's position as Commissioner and Chief Fitchenmueller was re-appointed Chief by Ordinance #1 and would serve as Secretary to the Board. 

A Chevy truck #4 was purchased to replace Dodge #2, and in 1936 Ordinance #2 was adopted to require fire permits for open burning. Also, in October of 1936, volunteers began to receive 50 cents to answer a call and 50 cents per hour thereafter. 

The Danville Fire Protection District refused the County's proposed consolidation of all special fire districts in May of 1937.

In 1941, a two-way radio was installed between the firehouse and the County Sheriff, linking Danville with the rest of Contra Costa County. E.P. Watson, Kussen Burger and Gene Bell were assigned air raid warden duty at the fire house. By January of 1942, 4 men were appointed as firemen in Diablo. 

February brought a request for government defense funds for the fire department. In May, the Commission advised the Defense Council to have a man sleep in the fire house. And, in October, the Danville Fire Protection District entered the county mutual aid plan. 

In 1943, Manuel Brown was hired as a day man for $100 per month and the volunteers pay was raised to $1.00 per hour during response time. A fire in September burned the Danville Warehouse and Lumber Company hay barns #2, 3 and 4. 

Unhappy firehouse neighbors complained in November that, during card games, obscene language was used and had become a nuisance. Commissioner Podva motioned to have gambling prohibited in the firehouse. The vote was recorded as follows: ayes 2, noes 1. The gambling was still an issue in 1944, so in March, Commissioner Podva moved that gambling or card playing was ok after 12 a.m. any night. This was approved unanimously, but by August, Commissioner Podva reported the firehouse neighbors were complaining again about the card playing. Commissioner Johnson said that there was no truth to the complaint, so the card playing continued. Also, in August, a special meeting was called to discuss the telephone operator's sounding of the siren. It was resolved that no fireman had the authority to censure or criticize any telephone operator in her judgement about blowing the siren. 

In September, the card playing issue was raised again. The Firehouse neighbors wanted to erect a fence between their property and that of the firehouse. When the card playing complaint was addressed and the citizens stated that "they didn't care if the boys played all night." The Commissioners concurred that that if the neighbors would provide the materials, the volunteers would erect the fence. 

In 1945 Commissioner Steve Johnson was re-elected, and the results were: 33 total votes cast, 32 votes for Steve Johnson, 1 vote for the firehouse neighbor!!!

Come November of 1947, Chief Fitchenmueller stepped down and the Commission appointed Duane Elliott as the new Fire Chief.  An FMC power wagon truck #6 was purchased in December and the volunteers pay was raised to $1.50 per hour during response time.  Fire truck #7 was purchased in January of 1948 and in 1949, Chief Elliott reported 25 fires in the past year, amounting to a $625 loss. 

In May a resuscitator was purchased, and in August two-way radios were purchased. July of 1950 brought a tax rate raise to $.40, and in December there were 30 firefighters on the volunteer roster. It was decided in January of 1951, "that Air Raid Wardens may use the meeting room, but fire calls will take priority."

In February, 4 new helmets were purchased. In December, a GMC pumper, engine #8, was purchased at the cost of $13,800. After having served the District for 22 years, Chief Fitchenmueller passed away in March of 1952. 

The preliminary plans for a new firehouse and remodeling of the present one were submitted in January of 1953. The 1954/55 budget was raised by the Commission, due to the building up of the District and the influx of population. This increase would take care of the new firehouse. 

October brought a special meeting to approve the remodeling and additions to the firehouse and call for bids. By November, the meeting to open bids was held, with a low bid of $21, 729.50. An additional $15,000 was later allocated to remodel the original structure. 

Also in April,  Manuel "Pinky" Camacho was authorized 7 vacation days to practice in the chorus line for the Legion follies.  In May of 1955 the Commissioners considered making inquiries on the feasibility of a tax or taxes to support an ambulance. 

Commissioner Wiester announced his retirement in February, for the end of his term, in April 1956, at which time he had completed 44 years of service to the District. In March, Commissioner Rose began to look into a firehouse location in Alamo. After an election, Candidate Lloyd Mathews was appointed to the Board with Podva and Rose, filling Ed Wiester's chair. A lot in Alamo was purchased in April of 1957, soon to become station #2. By September an architect was hired to draw up plans for the building and in November the plans and specs were reviewed and accepted. In January of 1958, the low bid of $37,666 was approved and construction on the new Alamo firehouse began. Franz Muller's bid was accepted and within one year the new Station #2 was completed. 

Mike Blodgett was hired as the first full time fireman assigned to Station #2 in January 1959. In February, Dale Sandy was hired to Station #2. He Resigned in July and was replaced by Dave Podva. 

The District fire insurance class rating of 7 was approved, and in January of 1960 a lot was considered for Station #3. The volunteer roster was getting bigger and included the 33 names. 

Frank Roy retired in March of 1960 after 36 years of service to the District. Chief Elliott was authorized to hire 11 additional men in January 1961. In April Commissioner Roses term expired. Duane Elliott stepped down as Fire Chief in June and W. Van Limburgh was hired as Chief. 

Commissioners Steve Johnson passed away in August, after 29 years of service to the District as fireman and Commissioner. 

A fire insurance class rating of 5 was obtained in July of 1964. Chief Van Limburgh suffered a heart attack and passed away later that year. He had nearly 30 years of fire service, including time with Riverbank in the San Joaquin Valley, many years at Federal military installations, and of course, Danville Fire Protection District. 

Commissioner Podva retired in April of 1963 after 35 years of service to the District, and Captain Forrest Wilson of the Central (Walnut Creek) Fire Protection District was hired as Chief. 

Per the 1961 Fire Protection Law, Board member titles could be changed from Commissioner to Director, and in 1963, the Commissioners unanimously changed their title to Director.  At the same meeting, and of greater significance, they voted to be elected by the voters in the District they serve instead of being appointed by the Supervisors of the County. Not only were these actions a major change in policy and procedure, but more importantly these actions reaffirmed and strengthened their autonomy and independence from the County. 

As a result of the April election, the voters also approved increasing the Board of Directors from three to five members and was comprised of Directors Matthews, Ramos, Basso, Layton and Barone. In December of 1963, all of the volunteers resigned. 

In April of 1964, Director Ramos stepped down and was replaced by Henry Bettencourt. Mike Blodgett was appointed Assistant Chief in July, and became Acting Chief in July 1965 when Chief Wilson suffered an apparent heart attack . In July Chief Wilson took a disability retirement and Assistant Chief Blodgett was appointed Chief. Directors Matthews, Layton and Basso continued for several years thereafter, many other Directors served in subsequent years. 

The Counsel to the Board, Thomas Henze, served the District for 11 years. Director Matthews retired in 1976 after 22 years of service to the District and passed away in 1980. 

In 1974 there was a tragic accident in front of San Ramon High School. A student, Helen Howell was hit by a car and died waiting for a private company ambulance from Walnut Creek. The ambulance did not arrive. The outraged community held a fundraising drive and raised enough funds to purchase a top of the line Ambulance. The Ambulance was put in service at the District with a mandate to operate a more efficient service. This one vehicle has blossomed into a major emergency medical presence in Contra Costa  

County.Merged with the San Ramon Fire Protection District in 1963 and became the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District

Dublin-San Ramon Services District

This agency was unique in a number of ways.   It was formed in the early 1960's to provide services to a new housing area on the Dublin-San Ramon border.  The developer Volk-McLean constructed an entire community.   This community straddled the county line in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Approximately 4 square miles of San Ramon were within these boundaries. 

Originally called Valley Community Services District, the agency was created to temporarily provide Water, Sewer, Garbage Collection, Parks and Recreation and Fire Protection to this new community.  The plan was that as the county services in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties were able, they would take over.

The name was changed in the 1980's to Dublin-San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) to provide greater community identity.   Gradually, the services were taken over eventually leaving only the Sewer and Water services and Fire Protection. 

The Fire Chief Phillip Phillips managed the fire organization from its inception until his retirement in 1985.  A decision by the City of Dublin and the City of San Ramon in 1988 created a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) called the Dougherty Regional Fire Authority (DRFA).  This separated the Water and Sewer services to remain as DSRSD and the Fire as DRFA.

This agency had two fire stations for most of its life, one in Dublin and one in San Ramon.  A third station, located in Dublin, was added just prior to the dissolution of the agency.  The two City of Dublin stations are now used by Alameda County Fire.  The San Ramon station is now part of the SRVFPD. 

DSRSD still exists today as the water and sewer provider to Dublin and the sewer provider to a small portion of San Ramon.  

DRFA was dissolved in 1997 with the Alameda County services being contracted to Alameda County Fire District and the small portion of San Ramon served by DRFA being annexed into the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.   

Eastern Fire Protection District:  [1946-1984]

The Eastern Fire Protection District was formed sometime before 1950 and served most of the Southern area of Contra Costa County. It went from the Alameda County border of Oakland all the way to the Vasco Road area. It had several fire stations or fire equipment storage barns or sheds, many located on private property. In 1963, the Eastern Fire District was reorganized as follows: 

The Moraga Area was also called Service Area F1 as it had a special assessment as it had paid firefighters. It had one original Fire Station and then a second fire station was built in the Rheem area. It became the Moraga Fire Protection District in 1963.  

The San Ramon Area had one fire station located in the garage of Bill Fereira. It became the San Ramon Fire Protection District in 1963 

The Tassajara/Highland area had three fire stations located on private property. One at the Hansen Ranch located at the end of Hansen Ln. One at the old Nisson Ranch located at Tassajara Rd., & Highland Rd. One located at the Reinstein Ranch at the corner of Carneal Rd. & Highland Rd. This area became Service Area F2 in 1963 

The Pittsburg-Antioch area had at three fire stations located on private property. One at the Higgins Ranch on Somersville Rd., in Antioch area. One located in the South Pittsburg area off Buchanan Rd., and one additional location was in the Deer Valley area. It became Service Area F3 & and Service Area F4

The Avon-Waterfront area became Service Area F5 

The Marsh Creek area had one fire station located at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and it remained in Eastern Fire District until it merged with Brentwood Fire District and the newly formed East Diablo Fire Protection District in 1984.

Station 1 later renamed Station 51 remained with that Station name when merged into East Diablo Fire Protection District

East Diablo Fire Protection District

The East Diablo Fire Protection District was formed by the merger of the Eastern Fire Protection District, Marsh Creek area, and the Brentwood Fire Protection District.  

In 1991, the Byron Fire Protection District was added. 

The East Diablo Fire District became part of the New East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in November of 2002. 

Station 51 in Marsh Creek remained Station 51
Station 52 in Brentwood remained Station 52
Station 53 in Deer Valley Road area remained Station 53 but was closed to operation
Station 54 in Brentwood remained Station 54
Station 57 in Byron remained Station 57
Station 58 in Discovery Bay remained Station 58
Station 59 in Discovery Bay remained Station 59

 

El Sobrante Fire Protection District: 

The story of the fire protection service for El Sobrante reads like a chapter in a book which might be titled, "THE CHALLENGE OF NECESSITY".

With the influx of population during the World War II years, the El Sobrante community did not escape the influence of necessity, and one of those necessities was public safety, and in this particular chapter of the unwritten book, was fire protection service. 

Prior to 1945, when the voters of El Sobrante approved the formation of a Fire District, the protection service was under the direction of what was poetically known as the Sobrito Fire Brigade. It is not entirely definite how the organization obtained its indicative name, but there is some support to the contention that, the San Pablo Fire District kept a friendly watch over its unincorporated neighbor, San Pablo, itself, sharing County administration at that time. 

Be that as it may, the Brigade was made up of some 20 volunteers, with Clarence LaFebvre elected its Chief. In 1942, the still standing garage building on Appian Way, served as the fire station, housing a Ford, Model A, with the second piece of equipment a Ford V8, housed at the dairy ranch of the Skow family. This was smilingly identified at Station 2.

It is interesting to note that the calendar vintage of these trucks were 1930 and 1932 respectively, but through mechanical know-how, and loving care, the equipment served with distinction. 

The people being fully conscious of the growing needs of the Sobrito Brigade, voted to purchase a 1940 Dodge pickup, which was converted into a fire truck and then there were three 

In 1942, a Mr. Charley Matteson came on the scene, joining the volunteer brigade, and because of his youth and leadership, was named Chief in 1944. Then with the formation of the El Sobrante Fire District in the following year, the Mr. prefix was changed to Chief, but still a volunteer. However, in 1945, the first Board of Fire Commissioners appointed the Chief of the Brigade, the Chief of the newly formed fire district. 

The Commissioners at that time were Al Shepston, Chairman, Ray Vogle, Wilbur Skow, L. H. Peterson, and Leo Logan. 

Chief Matteson recalls that in 1945, the tax rate for the new fire district was 15 cents per $100 assessed valuation, and that the population of the District, or of El Sobrante, was an estimated 1,800 souls. 

It must be noted also, that the department, including the Chief continued on a volunteer basis, until 1949, when paid status came into being. 

The progress of the department strongly testifies to the upswing in cost of equipment with two new trucks in 1945, an American LaFrance and a GFC with respective prices of $12,000 and $7,000. Chief Matteson observes that similar equipment on today's market would approach $25,000 and $15,000.

As the community continued to grow, with new business and new people, the Fire District was obliged to keep pace, and in 1949, the present fire station on Appian Way was completed at a cost of $33,000. The growth also included the necessity of additional personnel, and the calendar records the employment of Harold Huffman, the second salaried member of the department, now the Assistant Chief. Others added to the staff, as circumstances dictated were present Captains Bill Helms, Dave Chandler, Loren Olsen. Engineers Robert Hayden, Robert Fitton. Fire Inspector and Engineer Tony Bumgardner. 

With the purchase of new equipment, the total complement today is nine, which serves an estimated 25 square miles, plus the DeAnza-Whitecliff residential area, the latter residential districts being served for the City of Richmond under contract.

According to County records, the Fire District has an estimated assessed valuation of $20 million, with one of the lowest fire service tax rates in the entire county, set for the present fiscal year at $0.662. 

With the rapid growth of the Community, it is little wonder that plans have been completed , and the site on Castro Ranch Road was purchased for station two. 

The Board of Fire Commissioners, appointed by the County Board of Supervisors, is answerable to the Board with Supervisors approving expenditures and the annual budget. 

[The History of a Brigade to Department-From the El Sobrante Herald Bee Press Thursday, May 16, 1968 Edition] 

The San Pablo Fire Protection District was annexed to the El Sobrante Fire District on July 30, 1975. 

The El Sobrante Fire District was renamed West County Fire Protection District on July 1, 1977.  

 

Kensington Fire Protection District

The unincorporated town of Kensington began a volunteer fire department in 1928. Twenty-four years later, the Kensington Fire Protection District (formed in 1937) hired a staff of professional firefighters under the supervision of a fire chief. In 1995, the District entered into a contract with the City of El Cerrito whereby El Cerrito would provide all fire prevention, fire suppression and emergency services within Kensington for an annual fee. As a result, the District's only current employee is its administrator, Brenda Navellier. The early fire department was housed in a small, quaint English country-style building next to the Chevron Oil gas station on the Arlington. The current public safety building, owned by the District, was constructed in 1970 and substantially renovated in 1998-1999.

The District owns two fire engines and a utility truck. The most recent acquisition was an engine specially engineered for the narrow, steep streets of the community. In 2001 the District embarked on a series of water system improvements by contract with the East Bay Municipal Utility District to enhance the provision of water along the wildland interface and to optimize the placement of hydrants throughout the community. The District initiated paramedic service in 2001. It offers the first engine-based Advanced Life Support service in West Contra Costa County, bringing medications and equipment to a patient's side in an average time of only 4-1/2 minutes. The District is able to provide a timely and appropriate level of response by active participation with other West Contra Costa County fire agencies in automatic response agreements that use the combined resources of all agencies to serve the area irrespective of jurisdictional lines. The District operates a Neighborhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) program under the direction of Pat Caftel. For more information on NEAT

Funding for the District expenses is provided by property tax revenues as well as a special tax approved by the voters in 1980. The District is governed by a five-person Board of Directors elected by the voters of Kensington. The Board generally meets at 7:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the Community Center. Current Board members are: The District initiated paramedic service in 2001. It offers the first engine-based Advanced Life Support service in West Contra Costa County, bringing medications and equipment to a patient's side in an average time of only 4-1/2 minutes. The District is able to provide a timely and appropriate level of response by active participation with other West Contra Costa County fire agencies in automatic response agreements that use the combined resources of all agencies to serve the area irrespective of jurisdictional lines. The District operates a Neighborhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) program under the direction of Pat Caftel. For more information on NEAT. Funding for the District expenses is provided by property tax revenues as well as a special tax approved by the voters in 1980.

Still separate in name but part of the El Cerrito Fire Department

Station 65 is owned by Kensington Fire Protection District but occupied by El Cerrito Fire Department personnel

 

Island Fire Protection District

The Island Fire Protection was part of the reorganization of the Eastern Fire District in 1963. It was in the Antioch, Pittsburg area of the old Eastern Fire District.  

The Island Fire District was split up into three service areas. Service Area F3 was unincorporated Pittsburg and Service Area F4 was unincorporated Antioch. Service area F5 was in the waterfront area of Avon. The surrounding districts through contract provided Service. For many years, Service Area F5 was contracted with the Mountain View Fire District.  

Service Area F5 was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District on November 1, 1971

 

Lafayette Fire District:      

The Community of Lafayette was settled in the 1830's as the Mexican land Grant of Rancho Acalanes. A residence was constructed in the Happy Valley Road area but was soon destroyed by the Costanoan Indians who lived along the Lafayette and Happy Valley creeks. 

The community continued to grow despite the hostility of the native indians. The original Lafayette hotel was constructed in 1850, but was destroyed by fire in the 1880's. The loss of the hotel started the citizens thinking about a fire department. It took thirty years and several major fires to establish the Lafayette Fire District, staffed by volunteers and run by elected Chief Lou Starks. 

One of the initial pieces of equipment for the Lafayette Fire Department was a 1919 Model T Ford affectionately dubbed Old Betsy. Equipped with a chemical tank, this engine was not sufficient to control the 1929 hotel fire in the area of Moraga Road and Mt. Diablo Boulevard. The destructive blaze required a large amount of assistance from neighboring Walnut Creek's Fire Department to save the downtown Lafayette area. 

In 1939, Ed Morrison took over as Lafayette's second Fire Chief. The pride of the district came in 1945 with the purchase of a new $6,530 Dodge Pumper, the state-of-the-art in fire equipment for that time. 

In 1946, the Fire District organized as a paid fire department with its first paid chief, Shirley Peaks. 

In 1948, a bond election passed and in 1949, a new fire house was constructed with additional firefighters and equipment. The main station was located on Moraga Road near Mt. Diablo Boulevard. A second station was built on Old Tunnel Road in 1954. As the community expanded, a third station was constructed at St. Mary's Road, now Contra Costa Fire Station 17, and a fourth station was constructed the same year on Los Arabis, now Contra Costa Fire Station 16. 

The District was reorganized in 1959 when Chief Peaks was appointed Fire Marshal and R. Winkle became the District's third fire chief. The Lafayette Fire District increased and in 1968, listed 38 firefighters on the roster serving 12 square miles and a population of 32,000. The department outgrew the headquarters station and a new main station was constructed in 1968 on Mt. Diablo Boulevard, known today as Contra Costa Fire Station 15. 

That same year, 1968, prompted a study by the Lafayette City Council analyzing the benefits of uniting the Lafayette Fire District with the larger Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. On January 1, 1969, the former Lafayette Fire District merged with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District becoming the fourth fire agency to contribute its talents to the larger organization. 

Station 1 Lafayette became Station 15 located at 3338 Mt Diablo Blvd.
Station 3 Lafayette became Station 16 located at 4007 Los Aragis Drive
Station 4 Lafayette became Station 17 located at 620 Saint Mary's Road 

Martinez Fire Department:  [1858-1969] 

The first fire protection for Martinez began in 1858 with the formation of a volunteer fire company after a fire burned a large portion of the town. The Martinez Volunteer Fireman's Association provided the city's total fire protection for the next 40 years. 

Chief L. C. Wittenmeyer purchased the company's first fire fighting apparatus, a horse drawn hook and ladder, in 1860. 

The engine was an 1853 Piano Box with a 9 1/2 inch cylinder and a 9 inch stroke that could draft out of the Alhambra Creek. As the tide came in, the flood gates at the foot of Castro Street where closed; as the tide went out, there was fifteen feet of water at the Main Street bridge. It took eight men on each side of the apparatus pumping to get a stream of water to reach 150 feet. The hose was made of buffalo skin with copper rivets holding it together. 

John "Toddy" Briones was the next Chief, serving Martinez for 58 years. In 1904, two city blocks were destroyed by fire bordered by Main, Ferry, Escobar, and Mill Streets. The Commercial Hotel, Clothing Emporium, Wells Fargo Bank and Sunset Telephone Office were all destroyed. The extent of the damage could have been contained to one building, but the fire hose had been on loan to the Port Costa Water Company and when returned, the hose was twisted and tangled, which was time consuming to unravel. Volunteers formed a bucket brigade and climbed onto the roofs, throwing buckets of water over the exposed sides, but their efforts were futile. 

In 1916, the Lasall Barn and many horses were destroyed by fire. This caused the Martinez City Council to purchase the town's first motorized fire apparatus, a 1927 LaFrance fire engine. More engines were added in 1926. 

Chief Briones purchased the first resuscitator after a drowning in the Alhambra Creek. It was called a Lung Motor and was purchased in 1922. 

Martinez eventually evolved into a paid department and in 1903, Fred Kaiser assumed responsibility as the first full-time Fire Chief. In 1943, Clarence Viera succeeded Kaiser as Fire Chief until consolidation in 1969. At that time, Martinez Fire Department had 13 paid firefighters and 15 volunteers. Equipment inventory, housed in two stations, included six pumpers and an 85-foot aerial ladder truck. Upon consolidation, the Martinez volunteers became part of the Reserve Program. 

When the City of Martinez merged it's Fire Department to Contra Costa County Fire District, it brought along some of its history in the form of the 1926 LaFrance Fire Engine, proudly displayed at Station 14. The LaFrance was put into service in 1927 and its 750 gallons per minute pump helped extinguish many fires, including the Shell Oil fire and explosion of 1949, the John Muir School fire of 1953, and the Amorco fire of 1962. After 38 years of service, the LaFrance was officially retired in 1968. 

Chief Viera remained in active duty until Martinez was annexed into Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in 1969. 

Station 1 Martinez became Station 14 located at 521 Jones St.
Station 2 Martinez became Station 13 located at 251 Church St.

 

Moraga Fire Protection District

Originally came from the old Eastern Fire District and also known as Service Area F1 in that District. it was removed from Eastern and became the Moraga Fire District in 1963.  

The Moraga Fire District was combined with the Orinda Fire district and became the Moraga-Orinda Fire District on July 1, 1997.

     

Mountain View Fire Protection District

Mountain View is a small community situated just outside the Martinez city limits. In 1927, as the community developed, the residents found themselves without fire protection. Neighboring Martinez Fire Department's jurisdiction halted at the city limits and the new Mt. Diablo Fire Protection District extended only as far as the town of Pacheco. To meet the needs of the community, the citizens of Mountain View, many of whom were Shell Refinery employees, formed the Mountain View Volunteer Fire District. 

The District grew to encompass 19 square miles, taking in other County areas lacking fire protection, including adjacent Vine Hill, Alhambra Valley, and the Crockett Hills. 

Mountain View's first fire station was situated on the corner of Peach Street and Shell Avenue. The brick structure was Constructed in 1930, under the supervision of Volunteer Chief Leonard Howe. In 1945, Rudy Knieriem assumed command as fire chief. By 1952, half of the 30-man volunteer crew was made up of Shell employees, including two fire commissioners and an assistant chief. 

Mountain View soon outgrew its fire station and a second, larger facility was built in 1952 up the street from the first building. Construction of the second station was completed at a cost of $60,000. The structure houses five pieces of equipment and serves today as Contra Costa Fire Station 12. 

The Mountain View Fire District also contracted to serve the Island Fire Protection District which also was known as Service Area F5

Mountain Fire District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District on December 1, 1966 as Fire Station 12 

 

Mount Diablo Fire Protection District

Due to the lack of adequate fire protection in the rural areas surrounding Concord, the Mt. Diablo Fire District was established. The Fire District was the result of a meeting at the Concord Farm Center in 1920. A special committee, comprised of A.C. Gehringer, Frank Rose and W. Woods, was named to procure funds for the purchase of fire equipment for fire protection in the rural areas. Fund-raiser dances were held to raise the necessary finances. 

A Model T Ford truck with two 25 gallon chemical tanks was purchased and housed in the fire station in Concord. W. H. Eddy operated the garage next door to the fire station and was appointed to operate the truck and respond to fires in the surrounding rural areas. 

Whenever a fire occurred on any of the farms, sufficient money was collected from the farm owner to cover the expense of recharging the truck's chemical tanks and provide for other expenses. This system proved impractical.  

In 1923, the County Fire Protection Act was passed by the State Legislature, enabling rural areas to form fire districts for the purpose of fire protection. Various committees were appointed by the Concord Farm Center to take advantage of this act, and to initiate steps for the formation of a Fire District, including various areas of school districts outside of, and adjacent to, the City of Concord. In the latter part of 1925, a district to be known as the Mt. Diablo Fire Protection District was established. The District's jurisdiction included the Concord School District, the Pacheco School District, the Clayton Valley School District, the Clayton School District and a portion of the Oak Grove School District; a total area of approximately 80 square miles. 

Under the Act, five commissioners were appointed by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to manage the District. On February 9, 1926, the Fire Commissioners held their first meeting. 

This governing body purchased a second piece of equipment; a Dodge 1 1/2 ton truck, with a 200 gallon water tank and a two-cylinder Evinrude motor and pump, which was housed in the garage of W. H. Eddy. 

In 1929, a meeting was called for the purpose of incorporating the City of Concord Fire Department into the Fire District. Legal steps were taken and on October 30, 1929, the first meeting after consolidation was held and new commissioners were appointed. 

Late in the year 1929, a committee consisting of E. W. Glazier, Frank Rose and Chief Vargas was appointed to locate a suitable site for a new fire station. On January 8, 1930, upon recommendation of the site committee, a resolution was passed by the Board of Commissioners to purchase two lots situated on the northeast corner of Fernando (Willow Pass Road) and Grant Streets. This property is the site on which the present Fire Station 6 is located. 

Construction of the fire station was funded by the Mt. Diablo Fire District and the Federal Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.). The Fire District raised $16,536 (55% of the building cost), and the W.P.A. contributed the remaining 45% at $13,529. The total cost of the new fire station was $30,065. The facility featured living quarters for eight firefighters. The northeast section of the building was designed to accommodate the Fire Chief and his family. Chief Vargas contributed to the design of the fire station. [photo]

On June 6, 1930, another fire engine was delivered from America LaFrance. The apparatus was a General Motors chassis, a 500 gallon per minute rotary gear pump, a 300 gallon water tank and a 125 g.p.m. rotary gear booster pump which had the capability to "pump and move". This was the first piece of fire equipment of its kind and designed for rural fire protection and was recognized as a standard by the California Rural Fire Institute. 

During the year 1935, Mt. Diablo Fire Protection District tallied 97 fires within its 80 square mile jurisdiction with a population of 12,500. 

On December 29, 1964, Mt. Diablo Fire Protection District combined with Central Fire Protection District to form the nucleus of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. This merger ushered in a new era of organized fire protection. 

Mt Diablo Fire Stations

Station   6 - Concord
Station   7 - West Pittsburg [Now Station 86]
Station   8 - Concord
Station   9 - Pacheco
Station 10 - Concord [Has been relocated]
Station 11 - Clayton  : 

Oakley Fire Protection District

In 1924, there was a fire that destroyed the hotel and other small business buildings in Oakley. At that time, the only fire fighting equipment owned by Oakley were two chemical fire extinguishers that were pulled by hand to the site of the fire and a flat bed wagon that carried about ten milk containers full of water that were used to recharge the chemical extinguishers. This equipment was purchased by the businessmen of Oakley. 

After the 1924 fire, the businessmen and the townspeople decided they needed more fire protection. They had a meeting and formed a new district.

The newly formed district ran from Neroly Road and Bridgehead Road to the West, Neroly and Delta Road to the South, Byron Road and Sandmound Road to the East, and the San Joaquin River to the North. The Oakley Fire District covered the surrounding area of Oakley and Knightsen. 

The first step after forming the new district was to purchase a used fire engine from Oakland. Anthony Dal Porto was appointed as the new chief, under the direction of the chief businessmen. The townspeople of Oakley all helped in fighting fires. 

In 1942, a second engine was purchased with a water capacity of 350 gallons, and the first engine was given back to the Dal Porto brothers as it was of no more use for fire fighting. 

In 1948, a third engine was purchased with a water capacity of 500 gallons of water for Oakley and the second truck purchased was sent over to Knightsen to start another station to protect the east end of the district. 

In 1953, Tony Dal Porto turned over the chief's job to Carl Gott. Chief Gott immediately formed a group of men to form a volunteer fire department so that the firemen fighting fires would have more knowledge of how to fight fires and also to care for equipment. 

The first meeting was held at the home of Ray Michelotti. Nine men met there and talked about building a strong and dependable organization under the direction of Chief Carl Gott. To start the department, they had two trucks. One that had a water capacity of 350 gallons of water that was at the Knightsen station and the other with 500 gallons that was housed in the East end of the Oakley theater building, with barely enough room for the engine. 

The fire meetings were held outside the building, as there was no room in the building to hold their meetings. The firemen started looking for a place to hold their meetings. In November, 1953, the Dal Porto brothers, who owned the beauty shop on Acme Street and was vacant, gave the firemen permission to hold their meetings there and to fix it up and make it more presentable. 

In 1952 the Knightsen Volunteers were formed. 

In July of 1957, the new firehouse was built with an office, meeting room, dormitory, bath and shower, and two bays for engines. Along with the new firehouse, Oakley also received a new 1,000 gallon capacity fire engine. This gave Oakley two engines and Knightsen one. 

About 1960, a new fire station was built in Knightsen and a new 1,000 gallon pumper was also purchased to help fight fires in the eastern end of the Oakley Fire District.

In 1964, two more engine bays were added to the Oakley station along with a pickup to be used by the officers in charge of fires and to carry all emergency equipment, such as resuscitator, first aid kit, and oxygen masks so that quicker service could be rendered in emergency. 

In 1971, Oakley Fire Protection District purchased a four-wheel drive fire engine with 600 gallons of water for the Oakley station. 

In 1973, a four-wheel drive pickup was purchased for the Knightsen station to be used for emergency and rescue. 

On June 24, 1974, Chief Carl Gott decided he had accomplished what he had set out to do. That is, to form a well-manned and trained fire department. Chief Gott served with the Oakley Volunteer Fire Department from 1941 until his retirement in June of 1974. 

Chief Gott recommended that his Assistant Chief, Joe Tovar, be appointed to serve as Chief of the Oakley Fire Protection District and Manual Tovar to replace him as Assistant Chief.

Chief Joe Tovar took over as Chief of the Oakley Fire Protection District on June 24, 1974, which had two Fire Stations, four fire Engines and a pick-up. There were 25 volunteers at the Oakley Station and 18 volunteers at the Knightsen Station. 

The first thing Chief Joe Tovar did as chief, was to sound the alarm at the Fire House, which was a siren on top of the building, used to alert the volunteers of a fire or emergency. He informed the volunteers that he had been appointed Chief, replacing Chief Gott, who had turned in his resignation due to health problems. Chief Tovar informed the volunteers facing the district and requested their help as the district was growing rapidly. 

Prior to Chief Gott getting sick, the department had been practicing on shuttling water from hydrant to Engine, so that they would be able to pump 200 gallons per minute for 20 minutes without an interruption on the water flow. This was a requirement under the Insurance Service Office rating system, which rates all fire districts. The rating points are from 1 to 10 (1) being the best and (10) No organized Fire Department. 

Oakley had a rating of (9) in the rural area where there are no hydrants. The Oakley and Knightsen station proceeded to train together for several months, to try to meet the criteria to bring the rates down for the District. On June 12, 1975, the Insurance Service Office tested us for a new rating. Chief Joe Tovar was notified that the Oakley Fire District had successfully completed the test and that the Oakley Fire Protection District had dropped from a Class 9 to a Class 8 on rural area and a Class 6 where hydrants exist. This new class of 8 brought a savings of about $18 for a 25,000 Homeowners policy. 

In 1978 the district was again tested by the Insurance Service Office, for areas protected by water system which at present had a (6) Class rating. Again the firefighters's arose to the occasion and proved to the Insurance Service Office that they deserved better than a Class (6). On April of 1978, the Insurance Service Office informed Oakley that they had successfully completed the test and that the new rating was a class (95), applied to areas protected by water system, which again would bring a decrease in the total premiums to the citizens. 

In 1982, after proposition 13 was passed, it was hard to come by money for equipment. The Fire Chief's in the county, all got together and formed a Chief's committee to disburse money collected from he state called an augmentation fund. Each Chief was to request through the committee for money that was needed for new equipment which exceeded $5,000. In 1982, Chief Joe Tovar requested for replacement of the 1942 and 1949 Chevrolet Fire Engines. The replacements were approved and in 1983, a 1250 g.p.m. Ford diesel Engine and a 1,000 g.p.m. International were purchased from Van Pelt. 

The Town of Oakley started to grow and the traffic on the highway was increasing, causing more accidents. The Chief was approached by the East County Soroptimist club to see if there was anything that they could buy to help out the Fire Department, which couldn't be bought by the Fire District. Chief Tovar informed them that the district would like to have the "Jaws of Life", which was a new hydraulic tool on the market for Auto Extrication of victims trapped in vehicles and cost around $5000 and the District couldn't buy out of their small budget. The Soroptimist raised the money and donated the "Jaws of Life" to the District. 

In 1985, the Chief again went to the augmentation committee and requested money for a new car to replace the car he was driving, which had been given to him by Moraga Fire District two years earlier. This was approved and an 1985 Ford Sedan was bought. 

In 1988, two Blazers were purchased for the two Assistant Chiefs, as the District was growing rapidly and there was a real need for administration vehicles, since the chief's respond to all calls day and night and attend numerous meetings to keep up to the latest in fire technology. 

In 1989, a 1500 g.p.m. Engine, Power Wagon, and Rescue Van were purchased through the augmentation fund. Also in 1989, the Chief's and commissioners decided they should start looking for property for another station and expansion of the existing stations, in order to keep up with the growth. One acre was purchased on Live Oak Avenue for a new station and is waiting on the growth before building the station. 

In 1990, a rescue van and a power wagon were purchased for the Oakley station. In January of 1991, a 1250 g.p.m. Engine was purchased for the Knightsen station and a two bay extension was built. 

[Compiled by Manual Tovar, Assistant Chief Retired of the former Oakley Fire District]

The Oakley Fire District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District on July 1, 1994.  

On July 1, 1999, the Oakley Fire District was recreated and removed from the Contra Costa County Fire District.  

The Oakley Fire District became part of the new East Contra Costa County Fire District in November of 2002. 

 

Orinda Fire District

In 1880's a disastrous fire destroyed the Wagner home and another equally bad fire in 1915 destroyed the deLaveaga home, the only firefighters were the few neighbors, farmhands and cowboys who rushed to assist. 

In August 1923, the Orinda Volunteer Fire Department was formed. Funding for a firehouse was done through social events, like a benefit dance and raised $500 to build a firehouse. The Orinda Volunteer Fire Department was an important part of the community. Originally, their equipment consisted of a truck loaded with two barrels of water, rakes, axes, buckets, shovels and rope. A siren called the volunters when they were needed. The first Fire Chief was Edward Jensen. 

The Orinda Fire Protection District established in February 1933 under a State Legislative Act of 1923. It grew from one fire station with one piece of equipment staffed by volunteers to three fire stations byt the 1940's. A five-man Board of Fire Commissioners was appointed to administer the affairs of the Fire District. The geographical area was described as the following; it encompassed the area from Tilden Park on the north to Del Rey School on the south and from the county line on the west to a point close to the Russel Tree Farm on the east. 

The Orinda Fire Protection District needed to relocate its outdated Fire Station on Avenida De Orinda, because of the flooding that often occurred during heavy rain storms. 

Services provided in the 1960's were firefighting, fire prevention and fire education. The staffing for each station was a 2 person crew, each person was trained in advanced first aid. Total personnel on duty was 6 firefighters. 

In March 1968, Orinda voters approved a $400,000 bond issue and the current 14,000 square foot headquarters in Orinda Village was commissioned in October of 1969. 

On July 1, 1997, the Orinda Fire District was combined with the Moraga Fire District and became the Moraga-Orinda Fire District.  

[Information Courtesy of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District Web Site]

 

Pinole County Fire District

The Pinole County Fire District for many years contracted with the City of Pinole Fire Department for Fire Protection in some of this area. The West County Fire Proteection District and its predecessors, covered the rest of this district under contract. 

The Pinole County Fire District became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on July 1, 1994. Pinole Fire Department was still contracted to provide Fire Protection in some of this area. 

Pittsburg Fire Department

A new city hall for Pittsburg Police & Fire was build in 1922 on the North side of Ninth Street, between Railroad Avenue and Combuerland Street. The Pittsburg Fire Department had space in the basement with a ground floor entrance in the back of the building.

Sometime after 1960, the Fire Department move to a new station facility located at 200 East Sixth Street.

In 1964, Pittsburg Fire Department built a second station located at 2555 East Leland Avenue

The Pittsburg Fire Department was dissolved and became part of the new Riverview Fire District on July 1, 1975.  Riverview Fire District became part of Contra Costa County Fire District on July 1, 1994.

Station 1 became Station 4 and later renamed Station 84.
Station 2 became Station 5 and later renamed Station 85

Riverview Fire District

In 1974, a study was done to look at the feasibility of forming a new fire district in the Antioch-Pittsburg-West Pittsburg area of Contra Costa County. The new district would include the existing: 

The Antioch Fire Department, the existing Pittsburg Fire Department, Service Area F3 & Service Area F4, the West Pittsburg portion of the Contra Costa County Fire District, and several industrial complexes which were not within any public fire agencies jurisdiction.  

The industries included Dow Chemical, USS Steel, Pacific Gas & Electric, and E. I. DuPont. The E. I. DuPont was de-annexed from the Oakley Fire Protection District.  

The new district, initially know as River Fire Protection District , was created on July 1, 1975. A month later, the name of the district was officially changed to Riverview Fire Protection District. 

The district had six fire stations. Antioch Fire Station 1 became Riverview "Station 1", Antioch Fire Station 2 became Riverview "Station 2", Antioch Station 3 became Riverview "Station 3", Pittsburg Station 1 became Riverview "Station 4", Pittsburg Station 2 became Riverview "Station 5", Contra Costa County Fire Station 7 became Riverview "Station 6".  

In 1988, with the South Antioch area growing, it was necessary to add a seventh fire station which was "Station 8". This station was a temporary station and used a metal shed for the apparatus garage and a mobile home for the crew. 

In 1982, the numbering of the fire stations was changed to the "80" series to conform to a master plan of fire station numbering in the county. Thus "Station 1" became "Station 81", etc. 

The first fire chief of the district was Fred Golinveaux who was an assistant chief with the Contra Costa County Fire District. The following is a list of Fire Chiefs that served the Riverview Fire District:

             July 1, 1975 thru July 31, 1978 - Fred Golinveaux     
            August 1, 1978 thru March 28, 1986 - Vince Aiello
            April 1, 1986 thru June 30, 1994 - Allen Little       

Prior to Feb 1, 1991, the Riverview Fire Protection District was dispatched by the Delta Regional Communications Center

On Feb 1, 1991, The Contra Costa County Fire District began dispatching for Riverview Fire Protection District.

The Riverview Fire District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District on July 1, 1994. Stations 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, & 88.

 

San Pablo Fire Protection District:

The San Pablo Fire Protection District was first formed in 1926.

The first fire station was built in 1938 and was located on San Pablo avenue.

The San Pablo Fire District was dissolved and became part of the El Sobrante Fire District on July 30, 1975.       

San Ramon Fire Protection District

In 1963 the San Ramon Fire Protection District was formed to serve the area of San Ramon to the County line. The decision to form the District came from a dissatisfaction with the way the taxes from the community were being distributed by the Eastern Fire District.  Howard Wiedemann and Bill Fereira circulated a petition throughout San Ramon, all the residents signed in favor of the proposal, except two.  Armed with this mandate they set about creating a Fire District. 

The District was formed as an autonomous special district.  This means that the Board of Commissioners was a locally elected body, with complete decision making authority, answerable directly to the local voters.  

The autonomous District was actually an accident. When Bill Fereira and Howard Wiedemann decided to try to create a separate Fire District, they contacted an attorney Bob Eshillman to assist with the legal process. The attorney had a decidedly hostile relationship with one of the county Board of Supervisors. This Supervisor thought he was hurting Mr. Eshillman by engineering the paperwork to make the District autonomous. This ploy nearly worked, for several months the newly created District was not able to levy taxes, the County refused to lend it any money, and the Eastern District removed its equipment.  With no equipment of its own, Bill Fereira scrambled around to borrow a pick-up truck and some rudimentary fire-fighting equipment. 

San Ramon consisted of a small commercial area, to the north of Crow Canyon Road, primarily along San Ramon Valley Blvd. and a large area of rural farm and ranch properties to the south. 

The largest employer in the area at that time was the Bishop Ranch. This was a working ranch, now a large business park with the same name. 

The District grew from the influx of industrial employers moving into San Ramon.  Companies such as AeroJet (Aerospace), Filper (Automated Fruit Handling Equipment), MBA (Military Weapons and Research) and EG&G (Government Research), chose to establish facilities in the area of northern San Ramon. 

The original fire station was located in what was a car servicing facility, owned and operated by Bill Fereira.  Bill was also the mechanic for the Eastern Fire District, he would leave in the morning and spend all day on a 100 mile trek to all the Eastern Stations, located in Antioch, Pittsburg, Marsh Creek, Tassajara and Moraga and finally back to San Ramon.  

The fire station building is now once again a car repair shop located across the street from the boat yard in San Ramon. 

After the formation of the District the entire building was made into a fire station. The firefighters and apparatus shared the apparatus floor for some time.

Eventually, the apartment building in the rear was included in the station to house the firefighters.  Not long before the merger of the Danville and San Ramon Districts, a "Butler" building was constructed on the land next to the fire station.  This new building housed three apparatus bays, which left enough space in the old building for offices and the firefighters. 

The District's fire insurance class which was improved from a 7 to a 5 in 1968.   

From its inception Bill Fereira was the Fire Chief, in 1965 he was hired as the first full time employee.  He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1978.  After his retirement the Danville Fire Marshal Roy Asmundsen was appointed Chief. 

The Danville Fire District and San Ramon Fire District merged in March, 1980 and the name was changed to the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. The Directors in 1980 instrumental in the successful merger were: Armand Borel (SR), Ben Clark (SR), Al Huovinen (Dan), Bob Ingham (Dan), Sandy Jack (SR), Don Miladinovich (Dan), Bill Orr (Dan), Sam Papalardo (Dan), Lou Sylvia (SR) and Matt Winzen (SR). 

[Information Courtesy of the San Ramon Valley Fire District Web Site] 

Service Area F1: [1950-1963] 

This was a special service area of the Eastern Fire Protection District which included the Moraga area. It was first established circa 1950 and it had a special tax assessment in order to have paid firefighters on duty.  

Service Area F1 became the Moraga Fire Protection District when it was formed around 1963 with the reorganization of the Eastern Fire District

Service Area F2:    [1963-1970] 

This area was part of the Eastern Fire Protection District which was reorganized in 1963. The Tassajara/Highland area and formed into County Service Area F2. 

Service Area F2 then contracted with the Danville Fire District. The local resident volunteers continued to fight fires until Danville Fire arrived. Danville Fire stayed the official fire protection through the 1960's. As the local residents gained more experience and knowledge in the fire fighting tactics and strategy, they began to consider the idea of becoming their own fire agency. For financial reasons the Tassajara community decided to separate from Danville Fire. 

County Service area became the Tassajara Fire Protection District in 1970.

Service Area F3:   [1963-1975] 

Service Area F3 was part of the Island Fire Protection District formed with the reorganization of the Eastern Fire District. 

This was the former Pittsburg Unincorporated Area of the old Eastern Fire District and it contracted with the Pittsburg Fire Department for service. 

It was part of the formation of the Riverview Fire Protection District on July 1, 1975. 

Service Area F4:    [1963-1975]

 This was the former Antioch Unincorporated Area of the old Eastern Fire Protection District and was part of the formation of the Riverview Fire Protection District on July 1, 1975.

Service Area F5:

 Avon Waterfront Area:

 Service Area F5 was in unincorporated Contra Costa County area mostly within the Avon and Waterfront area. Mountain View Fire Protection District provided service to this area under contract. When Mountain View Fire District was annexed into the Contra Costa County Fire District in 1966, service was provided by them. 

On October 1, 1970, Service Area F5 was annexed to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District

Tassajara Fire Protection District: [1970-1990] 

The Tassajara Fire Protection District was officially formed in 1970 and came from County Service Area F2 which was formed after the breakup of Eastern Fire Protection District in 1963. 

Unlike the autonomous fire districts of Danville and San Ramon, the Tassajara District was a "dependent" special district.  This meant that the Commissioners were appointees of the County Board of Supervisors.  The district although tax supported had no direct authority to levy taxes and all budget items and employee issues came under the purview of the Board of Supervisors.   

After the "dependent" district was formed, it was first managed by the Valley Community Service District Fire Chief Phil Phillips until July 1970 when Warren Reinstein took over as the full time Fire Chief.

The District began with three fire trucks, fifteen volunteers, and a "Class 10" Pacific Fire rating. Residents donated their barns and sheds to house the fire apparatus until they were needed to store their hay for the summer. Fire apparatus were old retired rigs from other departments that were purchased at county auctions. Replacement parts were purchased from junkyards and all mechanical/maintenance was performed by volunteers. Although the district was tax supported, it had no direct authority to levy taxes to help fund the department. Funding was raised through dances, BBQ's, donations, volunteer dues, and other events. TFD was also deeded the Tassajara school house on Finley Rd. The school house was where all board meetings and events were held. The TFD was responsible for restoring the school and for general upkeep. The old school house became a very important part of the district because it became a place where fire department personnel and the community could come together. 

In 1970, the district applied for membership in the "Twin Valley Mutual Aid Program" but was denied due to inability to recipricate equipment and manpower. As the district grew, and acquired more equipment/personnel, the Tassajara Fire Department was accepted into the Twin Valley Mutual Aid Program in 1975.

In 1975, an acre of land was purchased from Commissioner Jorgan Claussen on Tassajara road, north of Highland road that served as the site if the District's first official fire station. A new well was drilled and a 12,000 gallon water storage tank/pump was donated by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1976. Construction was completed in 1977, and the station was officially put into service by 1979.  

Fire Chief Warren Reinstein passed away in 1979, which brought a change to the district. Dougherty Valley Fire Chief Phil Phillips, who had been the "big brother" to Tassajrar Fire District since its beginning, became the interim Chief for the following six months. Assistant Chief Steve Epler was then promoted to fill Warren's former position as Chief. 

Tassajara had a dedicated volunteer force that served the community faithfully.  Unfortunately, as happened to the other Districts, the community complexion started to change and the residents were less often employed locally, and more often commuting to their jobs, leaving none available during large parts of the day to provide fire protection.  This development spelled the end for the mostly volunteer District, and in January of 1991 it was absorbed into the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.  

      Station 36  Located at 6100 Camino Tassajara Road, Danville
     Station 37  Located on Morgan Territory Road, Livermore   

Valley Community Services District:  

The Valley Community Services District was formed in 1961

Renamed Dublin-San Ramon Fire Services District in 1977 

West County Fire Protection District:

West Contra Costa Fire District the former San Pablo Fire District & El Sobrante Fire District was renamed West County Fire District on July 1, 1977.  

On October 1, 1992, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District assumed management of the West County Fire Protection District. 

West County Fire District was dissolved and merged with the Contra Costa County Fire District on July 1, 1994. Stations 69 & 70

 

Updated 10/31/2013