About Marion County Fire District No. 1

The 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 began as a single all volunteer station (Four Corners Fire Department) in 1939.

That one 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.

The Marion County Fire District is an organization which is known and trusted by our community, respected by our peers and united in the accomplishment of our mission.

MCFD No. 1 exists to make a positive difference in our community.

We accomplish this by:

(1) Rapid Response
(2) Taking Appropriate Action and
(3) Producing a Beneficial Result

What began as a single volunteer station (Four Corners Fire Department) in 1939 has grown to include eight stations and employs 60+ career personnel with a volunteer force of 60 to 75. The District has a response area of 80+ square miles, a growing population of 50,000+ residents, and an annual call volume of over 10,000 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.

We Work As A Team To Resolve Emergencies

Kris Boyer, Battalion Chief at Marion County Fire District No. 1, describes how our personnel work together as a team to resolve emergencies, similar to how an engineer would solve a problem. He loves serving at Fire District No. 1 because it is not repetitive work.

My Co-workers Were There For Me

Deputy Chief Ron Lee shares how his coworkers at Marion County Fire District No. 1 were there for him when he and his family needed care because of a health issue for several months. He tries to instill that culture into new people in the district and help them grow as a family.

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 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 a backup ambulance to surrounding areas. We currently offer three full-time paramedic advanced life support ambulances for the community.

MCFD No. 1 provides emergency services to citizens in 88 square miles of unincorporated residential, commercial, and agricultural property bordering the cities of Salem Oregon, and Keizer Oregon.

It’s About the People

Captain Mike Berger shares why everything the Fire District does is ‘about the people’ the firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs serve.

When the Levy Failed

Alisha Dodson, firefighter, and paramedic at Marion County Fire District No. 1, describes the impact on the community when she and others were laid off when a levy failed.

So They Come Home Safe

Formerly a captain, 26-year MCFD No. 1 veteran Ron Lee is now Deputy Chief. Not only in charge of operations, but Ron also makes sure policy is in place, and our personnel has the tools they need to do their job safely and come home safely. Whether as a firefighter, captain, or now Deputy Chief, the joy of his job has always been figuring out how to make things better.

A Lot of Experience Left When the Levy Failed

Ron Lee, Deputy Chief at Marion County Fire District No. 1, describes how many experienced people left when the 2020 levy did not pass. When experienced personnel did not feel their jobs were secure anymore, they took jobs elsewhere, leaving a combination of young personnel and those close to retirement at MCFD No. 1.