MAPAVILLE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
By: Bill Haggard
The Mapaville Fire Protection District is approaching its 12th Anniversary this August, but established its roots within the fire service 60 years ago this spring. Prior to May 19, 1952, the residents of Mapaville had no organized fire protection, and only after a large brush fire, fifteen concerned citizens collectively formed the framework for the Mapaville Fire Association. In the spring of 1952, the first fire truck, a 1944 Ford open cab pumper, was purchased by the association. The fire association was officially chartered in the State of Missouri on March 23, 1953.
Construction of the current fire station began on June 6, 1953. Since its completion, the structure has undergone a total of four renovations. The first renovation occurred in April of 1969, the second in May of 1974 and the third in September of 1978. Due to the growth of the departmentís fleet of fire apparatus, the final renovation was completed in July of 1985.† At one time, the association owned two pumpers, two tankers, one brush truck, one utility van and a mini-pumper rescue truck.
In the early and mid 1980ís, the Mapaville Fire Association experienced four large tire fires at a used tire storage facility and dump. The fires were in an area not serviced directly with fire hydrants.† Each fire burned for several weeks at a time and required the help of the associationís volunteers and numerous mutual aid fire companies. Each fire required upwards of 25 pieces of fire apparatus and over 100 firefighters to battle the blazes.
As the community of Mapaville evolved and more families moved into the area, the needs for emergency services and fire protection greatly increased. The increase in population was the catalyst for the formation of a tax supported fire protection district. The Mapaville Fire Association went to the voters of the area asking for the approval of the formation of a fire protection district in Mapaville. The voters approved the formation of the district by a wide margin of votes, and on August 8, 2000, the Mapaville Fire Protection District was established.
Acquisition of newer and more reliable apparatus became the focus of the newly formed district. Once again, the voters were asked for a tax increase to support the replacement of the districtís apparatus fleet. In April of 2002, voters approved a tax increase for the purchased of a four-man rescue/pumper and a 2,000 gallon tanker.
Continued fiscal financial responsibility has allowed the purchase of other technological advancements that include a thermal imaging camera and improved personal protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus. In January 2007, a pickup truck was purchased as a support vehicle and later the same year, another four-man rescue/pumper was purchased. The final truck purchase was a two-man rescue truck which brings the districtís current fleet to a total of six trucks.
With an aging fire station and space limitations, the vision of the district could not be pursued. In April of 2008, the voters were again asked to support the needs of the district. A tax increase measure to build a new fire station was presented to the taxpayers for approval. The voters again approved the tax increase and the district was allowed to pursue the construction of a new fire station. In an effort to save taxpayer money, the Mapaville Fire Protection District entered into a cooperative agreement with the Joachim-Plattin Ambulance District to build a dual use station. Sharing the costs of the building allowed for a more functional building to be built without stressing either districtís budget. A 3 acre site at 3687 Plass Road was chosen for the construction of the station.
The Mapaville Fire Protection District wrote a proposal for a new grant opportunity from the Federal Stimulus Bill of 2008. In February of 2010, the fire district was notified by the Department of Homeland Security that the district had been awarded a grant to offset the cost of the building. The groundbreaking for the new facility was held in August 2010. The new facility is projected to be completed by the end of summer in 2011.
The following men have served as Fire Chief of the Mapaville Fire Association Ė Oliver Judd, William Gruber, Earl Daughtery, Walter Wolk and Darryl Reed. Chief Reed is the current Fire Chief of the Mapaville Fire Protection District.