FORTUNA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
Fortuna's Quiet Heroes




(click on the pictures to see them full size) 

Click for larger picture! 1918 Horse drawn pumper.
1918 horse-drawn pumper

On Sunday, October 7, 2004, to kick off National Fire Prevention Week and in a tribute to their fallen comrades at the World Trade Center, many Humboldt County Fire Department and Law Enforcement personnel paraded their emergency vehicles through the County's cities and towns .

Pictures here.


2004 Muster Parade pictures are here.

(click on the pictures to see them full size) 

It has been said that volunteers run the world. In Fortuna, some 63 volunteers also protect the world - at least, that portion of it in their territory that is threatened by fire.

Fortuna's Fire Department is operated totally by volunteers. Their five Fire Companies, including one in Campton Heights and one in Hydesville, answer calls any time of day or night, through rain, sleet or fog, holidays and weekends. The Fire District covers an area of approximately 26 square miles.

Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire. When the fire whistle blows, they answer the call. Firefighters leave meals half-eaten, jump out of bed in the middle of the night, rush out of parties or meetings or whatever activity they happen to be involved in when the fire siren sounds.

This is only a small piece of the picture however, it doesn't include the hours of drills and training (a minimum of 156 hours for each firefighter). This training, along with the Department's well-maintained equipment, allows it to pass the California Fire Insurance Underwriters test with high marks year after year,  as good as many paid fire departments elsewhere, and that translates into low fire insurance rates for the people who own property in the Fortuna Fire District.

The Department participates in nearly every community event in Fortuna. Firefighters volunteer to put up and take down event banners and seasonal decorations. They enter fire trucks in parades and offer free rides on their antique fire engine. During rodeo week they organize water games for kids, as well as entertaining a crowd with a bit of friendly competition among themselves.

Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire. Everything they do is without pay. They put in the time and raise the funds themselves for what is needed. Funds the city would have to spend on salaries for paid firefighters are saved, to be used on other projects.

The Fire Protection District provides the Department with five pumpers, a ladder truck, a water tanker, a rescue truck (which includes Jaws of Life equipment) and three 4x4 pickups with water tanks.

A Board of Commissioners, who are Doug Edgmon, Jerry Harland, Tom McWhorter, Emil Wendt, and Randy Stone  governs the Fire District.

Chief Joe Toroni and Assistant Chiefs Lon Winburn and Frank Hizer direct District operations. The Department also boasts five captains, ten lieutenants, one dispatcher and forty-five fire fighters. Of the five Fire Companies, three are located downtown, one in Campton Heights and one in Hydesville.

 

Responses in the past year:

  • Service Calls 170

  • Grass Fires 11

  • Structure Fires 49

  • False Alarms 13

  • Vehicle Fires 10

  • Miscellaneous 25

  • Investigations 32

  • Chimney Fires 8

  • Medical Aids Calls  29

  • Jaws of Life 5

  • Mutual Aid Calls 0

  • Car Accidents 12



  • Volunteer Hours 1638

  • Training Hours 1890

 

In all, the Fortuna Volunteer Firemen were dispatched to 364 alarms and service calls.

Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at an automobile accident. "As volunteers, we are willing to leave our jobs, businesses, homes, or families whenever we are called upon to help others or protect their property.
Your efforts in keeping your house number visible from the street by having your numbers painted on your curb or removing brush away from your dwelling would greatly increase our response time to your emergency."

Chief Bob Summerville named "Citizen of the Year"


 

FORTUNA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
PO BOX 614
FORTUNA, CA 95540

Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire.

 

 

 

(click on the pictures to see them full size) 

Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire. Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire.Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire.
Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire. Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  at a fire.Click for a larger picture. Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen  giving rides in the antique fire truck.
Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department firemen driving the antique fire truck in the Fortuna Redwood Autorama Cruise.Don't park at fire hydrants...

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