SALINE VALLEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
By: Bill Haggard
The Saline Valley Fire Protection District was established on January 1, 2009, through a merger of the Shady Valley Fire Protection District and the Springdale Fire Protection District in north-central Jefferson County.
The Shady Valley Firefighters Association was established in 1959 after a popular, local dance hall was destroyed by fire. The first apparatus was purchased from the Jefferson Barracks Fire Department at the cost of one dollar. The Riebold family donated land located on Highway 21 for the construction of a fire station.† The fire station was built at the current location of Saline Valley Station #3.† The volunteer fire association sold fire tags until the voters approved the formation of a tax-supported fire protection district in 1974.† Although the association sold fire tags, all residents received fire protection from the association, regardless of whether or not they had purchased a fire tag.
The Springdale Fire Protection District was established in August of 1977 and was staffed with an all-volunteer force.† The district provided fire suppression, emergency medical and rescue services to a population of approximately 10,000 along the Meramec River. In 1979, the district hired its first full-time firefighter and built Station #2 at 2198 Saline Road.† The first full-time Fire Chief was hired in 1990 to oversee the districtís increasing needs.
In 2005, talks began about the merger of the two fire districts in order to reduce costs and the duplication of services on borders between the two districts.† The new district would also allow for an increase in resources and services provided to the community that would be served.† The two fire districts entered into an enhanced mutual aid agreement in which the districts would share a fire chief, training officer and fire marshal, in addition to resources and equipment.
A vote to approve the merger was passed in August of 2008. The Saline Valley Fire Protection District began handling responses on January 1, 2009.† Since its inception, the district has hired three additional full-time firefighters allowing for three firefighters on 24 hour shifts at each station.† The district has also taken delivery of a new 75í ladder truck, the first of its kind for our community.† Delivery of a midi-pumper for Station #2 occurred in December of 2009 and in 2010 the district placed a heavy rescue squad in service.
The Saline Valley Fire Protection District employs a fire chief, a fire marshal, a training officer, two administrative assistants and 27 full-time firefighters. The full-time staff is supplemented by several volunteer firefighters.† The fire district provides fire suppression, emergency medical service, technical rescue and water rescue services.† The fire district also provides education and fire prevention programs to the community.
Drawing on the rich history of two great fire districts, the Saline Valley Fire Protection District is committed to maintaining a benchmark of emergency services, while looking forward to a bright and productive future.† Our staff remains ever vigilante in providing the highest quality of safety and service for our residents and our firefighters.