What began as a single volunteer station (Four Corners Fire Department) in 1939 has grown to include eight stations and employs 47 career personnel with a volunteer force 75-strong. The District has a response area of 80 square miles which includes approximately 50,000 residents and an annual call volume of over 7,200 responses.
The Marion County Fire District No. 1 is not part of the city or the county, but instead is a “special service district” that provides fire and emergency service to residents in unincorporated Marion County. The fire district is run by an elected, volunteer board comprised of residents of the fire district.
The History of Marion County Fire District No. 1
Marion County Fire District No. 1 has a rich history. Like most fire departments, it started on the backs of dedicated citizens that found a need to protect their families, friends, and businesses from fire. It all began as a single volunteer station (Four Corners Fire Department) in 1939. That volunteer station merged with the Brooks Rural Fire District in 1968, creating Marion County Fire District No. 1 Since that time it has grown to include stations at Four Corners, Middle Grove, Pratum, Macleay, Brooks, Clear Lake, Labish Center, and the Chemeketa Fire Station.
Marion County Fire District No. 1 Today
Since the fire district’s inception, much of the area that was once sparsely populated farmland is now divided into sprawling housing complexes and businesses. There are currently an estimated 50,000 citizens living within the Marion County Fire District No. 1’s boundaries. The rapid increase in population has forced the district to experience many growing pains. The challenges that it has faced include increased call volume, increased numbers of paid personnel, the need for newer and larger equipment, and higher demands for training. The district currently employs 47 personnel; however, like many departments, the backbone of the district remains the 75 or so dedicated volunteers that selflessly donate their time to protect their community. The district provides fire/rescue response from eight fire stations, handling over 6,300 calls each year.
The district has adopted a “paramilitary” command model that is headed by the Fire Chief and governed by an elected five-member Board of Directors. The district provides 24 hour advanced life support ambulance service to an area slightly larger than its fire protection boundaries, as well as backup ambulance to surrounding areas. We currently offer 3 full-time paramedic advanced life support ambulances for the community.