Chula Vista Fire Department History
our humble beginning as a group of volunteers, the Chula Vista Fire
Department has grown into a highly professional, trained force of
150+ men and women. During Chula Vista's early days, fire protection
consisted of a hand-drawn soda and acid cart pulled to a fire by
anyone available. In 1921, seventeen young men volunteered to form
the first organized fire department in Chula Vista. A "Model
T" fire engine was purchased and the first fire station was
opened at 316 Third Avenue.
Just two years later, the station moved to City Hall, then located
at 292 Third Avenue, and the first full-time paid firefighter was
hired. The following year, the "Model T" was traded for
a 1916 Seagraves pumper, the "Old Goose". This pumper
is still owned by the Fire Department and is frequently used in
parades and at special events.
During the Depression years of the 1930's, volunteers welcomed
the pay of $2.00 per meeting and $2.00 per fire. When World War
II started, the firefighters became active in civil defense programs.
In the post-war years, the city began to grow and the fire department
experienced several major changes. The volunteers were disbanded
and became a social club, and eleven full-time firefighters were
hired to provide fire protection for the city.
Also in 1948, the department purchased a new fire engine and moved
into a new station at 447 F Street. This is the current site that
is still the department's headquarters.
Chula Vista's second fire station was first built in 1957 and is
located at 80 East J Street. This station was replaced in 1987 with
the current structure.
In 1960, the third station was erected at 266 East Oneida Street.
Because of the city's eastern growth, this station was relocated
and opened in 2001 at its new site, 1410 Brandywine Avenue.
In 1965, the fourth fire station was constructed and located in
the far eastern part of the city at 861 Otay Lakes Road, across
from Southwestern Community College. This station was relocated
in October 2001 to the site of the department's training tower at
850 Paseo Ranchero. It also includes a training classroom and offices
at this facility.
In 1986, the City of Chula Vista annexed the Montgomery Fire Protection
District located in the southwestern region of the city. This agency
had provided fire protection for the 22,000 residents living in
the 4.5 square mile portion of San Diego County. Along with the
fire station, all of the fourteen fire personnel were absorbed into
the Chula Vista Fire Department. This fifth fire station stands
at 391 Oxford Street.
In 1993, The Chula Vista Fire Department opened the sixth fire
station in the planned community of EastLake. It is located at 975
Station 2 has also been modified with a storage building built behind
it to house equipment and supplies. Within this storage building
is the equipment to provided to maintain our fire equipment and
service our breathing equipment.
The new station #6 opened for service on January 6, 2005. Station 6 replaced the temporary fire station located at 975 Lane. Station# 6 serves the communities of Rolling Hills Ranch, San Miguel Ranch, Bonita Long Canyon, Eastlake Shores and Bella Lago. The fire station houses an engine company and has the capacity to house a paramedic ambulance company if needed in the future.
Station 7 was built and completed in record time in 2003. It is located in and provides service for the Otay Ranch area, as it is located next to Otay Ranch High School. This station houses the equipment and staff for another engine company and a truck company. Station #7 also houses a battalion headquarters for the eastern part of the city.
As of January 7, 2005, the temporary facility previously known as fire station 6, will continue to be staffed and will operate as temporary fire station 8. The permanent fire station 8 is currently in the design phase and scheduled to open by year's end 2006. The permanent facility will be located in Eastlake Woods at the intersection of Woods Drive and Hawthorn Creek. This fire station will serve the communities of Eastlake Woods, Eastlake Vistas, Eastlake Greens, and Eastlake Trails.
Currently the Chula Vista Fire Department has eight stations located in the city's major regions from which personnel respond to 13,000+ calls for service annually, while serving a population of over 200,000 people and covering an area over 52 square miles.
The Fire Department staff continues to assemble the necessary resources to provide quality service far into the future for the citizens of Chula Vista.