Trace the histories of the Auburn and Pacific Fire Departments.

The Auburn Fire Department

The Auburn Fire Department was formed over a century ago as a result of a devastating fire in August of 1890. The fire destroyed an entire city block of businesses in what was then known as the town of Slaughter. The original department, consisting of volunteer firefighters and a hand-drawn hose cart, was first named the Auburn Bucket Brigade. The name changed to the Auburn Volunteer Fire Department in 1908.

The city purchased its first fire truck, a Ford Model, for $2,292 in 1920. At that time the department utilized 25 volunteers who received $1 to $5 for each fire they responded to, depending on the risks they undertook. The first paid firefighter was hired in 1926 and responded with the volunteers out of a one bay fire station attached to Auburn City Hall. In 1959, the city built the first headquarters fire station at 700 Auburn Way South. The headquarters was relocated to its current location in 1985 and the city’s second fire station, Station 32, was constructed. Station 33 was added in 1995.

By 2006, the Auburn Fire Department employed 81 paid personnel, 69 of whom worked in fire suppression and emergency medical services (EMS). Firefighters responded to over 8,000 9-1-1 calls from Auburn residents and businesses during that year.

The Pacific Fire Department

The Pacific City Council voted to form the Pacific Fire Department in July of 1932, paying their firefighters one dollar for each fire they responded to. On September 19th the city purchased a 1922, 12-cylinder Packard Touring car for sale in Tacoma for $200.00 and housed the truck in a feed store next to City Hall. The fire truck replaced a two-wheeled cart that held chemical tanks filled with soda and acid.

The Public Safety building for Pacific Police and Fire was dedicated at 133 3rd Ave SE. on May 5th 1979. Volunteer firefighters exclusively staffed the building until 1994 when the city hired its first full time Fire Chief, followed in 1997 with its first paid career Firefighter. In May of 2002, following the hiring of three more career Firefighters, the City of Pacific Fire Department was recognized and chartered under the IAFF local 4276.

On January 1, 2007, as a result of a voter-approved measure, the Auburn Fire Department combined with the Pacific Fire Department and the City of Algona to form the Valley Regional Fire Authority, which provides fire and EMS services to all three cities.