Parkdale Rural Fire Protection District
Parkdale Fire Station
4895 Baseline Dr.
P.O. Box 40
Parkdale, OR 97041
Tel: (541) 352-6092
Fax: (541) 352-5533
Business Hours: 8am to 5pm Mon-Fri
Emergency Dial 911
©2015 Parkdale Rural Fire Protection District. All rights reserved.
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HISTORY OF PARKDALE FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Parkdale Fire Department held its first meeting February 24th, 1949. Chief Leslie Aubert called the meeting to order with 41 prospective firemen in attendance at the Parkdale Grange Hall. Volunteer Association Officers were elected with Ramon Dougherty as the president and Paul Aubert as the Vice President. They would meet for the meeting on the fourth Monday of every month. Each member would pay 10 cents into the treasury fund for refreshments.
The remaining 25 firemen were divided into three companies; the hose company, the ladders company, and the salvage company. Each company would train on separate nights once a month. The department owned a hose cart that could be pulled by four firemen and operated one motorized engine, called Engine 44. In 1962, the department also purchased a second engine, called Engine 46. In the event of an emergency call, there were three telephone numbers that could be called. The first number being the Captain of the hose company, the second number being the Captain of the ladders company, and the last number called was Howard Nelson’s grocery. Nelson was also the Assistant Chief and was located the closest to the nearly-completed fire hall. Later, in May of 1949, a siren was affixed to the fire station and after receiving report of a fire, Nelson would run down the street and activate the siren.
Badges and uniforms were ordered and each fireman was to pay a one dollar deposit on the issued badge. They set a date of April 30th for their first official “Fireman’s Ball” in hope that the new shirts and badges would arrive in time. The department was a big provider of entertainment, hosting dances, picnics, socials and participating in the local parades. The Hood River County fire departments also competed in a “water ball” competition at the local county fair. Water ball is a game where two teams must each assemble three to four sections of hose with a nozzle. They then try to squirt a ball attached to a zip line on their opponent’s side before the other team. Some departments would form several teams and the winner being awarded a trophy.
The Parkdale Fire Department purchased their first ambulance, Ambulance 42, in February 1966. The ambulance was a retired Hood River Fire Department ambulance that was currently owned by the Odell Ambulance Company. With all firemen being trained in first aid and a few with advanced fire aid training, the department formed the Parkdale Ambulance Service. The department also added a ladies’ auxiliary known as the “Fire Belles” who helped organize events such as dances and during fires they would make coffee and meals if needed.
In the mid 70’s, the department acquired their first rescue vehicle which replaced a booster that would respond to motor vehicle crashes. If was built on an international chassis and was infamous for its mechanical issues. If has been said that the rescue crew had to get the motor started before it rolled off the pad and if it didn’t start, the crew would throw the equipment into the back of a firefighter’s personal vehicle and drive the gear to the scene.
In the mid 80’s, the department acquired the use of a county building located in the town of Mount Hood to store fire apparatus. The building is still in use today as the Mt. Hood Station. In the late 80’s construction began on a new fire station on the outskirts of Parkdale. Also during this time period, a new engine was purchased from Pierce and two firemen flew out to Michigan to receive delivery straight from Pierce manufacturing.
In 1991, the new fire station was completed and the department moved into their new home which now has room for seven apparatus, a kitchen, recreation room, office areas, and a meeting room that is used for meetings and drills.
With the support of the community, the Parkdale and Dee Fire Departments merged in 2006. The Dee sub-station housed an engine, tender and wildland engine which also served as a quick response medical vehicle. Parkdale also added three firefighters to their ranks resulting from the merger. During this time the department hired the Fire Chief Mike McCafferty full time, which allowed for the District to make advancements in training, apparatus and personnel.
2010 was a big year for the department. The department purchased the property to the east of the main station to be used as training grounds for Parkdale Fire as well as the other fire districts in the Hood River Valley. We also gained a new 2009 Spartan fire engine in the Spring of 2010, which replaced our first our structure engine. In the Fall, Parkdale Fire District hired its first firefighter/paramedic to staff its two advance life support ambulances.
In 2012, we welcomed a new F-450 ambulance to our fleet, which replaced our old van style ambulance. We now have a fleet that consists of two advanced life support ambulances, on rescue unit, two wildland brush trucks, three structure engines, one tender and one command vehicle.
The district continues to move forward by adding new personnel, expertise, and equipment each year. None of this would be possible without the support we have from the community.
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