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  Fire Department

Chula Vista Fire Department History

1916 Seagrave PumperFrom 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 Lane Avenue.
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.


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