"It is our duty to prevent and protect from all fires and provide emergency medical aid to our community."
Evans Valley Fire District #6 is the result of fifty years of effort, building, and evolution. The district was originally formed by community volunteers to provide fire protection in the rural Evans Valley. Neighbors purchased the first fire engine with donated funds. It was a 1936 Pirsch. The first volunteer Fire Chief for the valley was Bill Simmons. He was also involved in the formation of the district. In the early days, board meetings were held at the Alaskan Cafe, next to the covered bridge in Wimer.
In 1963 the district was officially registered with the state and given the name "Evans Valley Rural Fire Protection District No. 4-206 ". Soon after, the first fire station was built on leased land from the Wimer Grange (In 2007 the Grange donated the land to the fire district). This was another community project with mostly donated materials and labor. This station is still in use today to house our wildland engines. In 1964 the district purchased a 1953 Maxim engine. They now had two engines and would work at acquiring a water tender.
By 1970 the district had developed enough to earn an ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating of 9b, which resulted in significant savings to those who insured their homes from fire.
In 1978 the District was given a new tax base by the voters. This allowed the District to hire a permanent Fire Chief and to begin work on improving its ISO rating. Scott Lochard was hired as the first permanent Fire Chief. By the end of 1979, the District had improved enough to earn an ISO Class 8b rating. In 1981 a serial levy was approved to build a new fire station. Again in 1985, the people of the Evans Valley approved money and a new fire engine and remanufactured water tender were purchased.
The department grew through the rest of the '80s and in 1994; property next door to the fire station was purchased for future training grounds. The '90s proved to be a challenging time for fire district #6. Training requirements were mandated by the state and finding volunteers became a full-time commitment. Also, the passage of Measure 47 reduced the revenue that could be generated by the fire district.
Y2K passed without a hitch and the fire district marched into the 21st century. In 2004 the district went to their neighbors in Wimer like the first fire chief did, and asked for a tax levy to purchase some new equipment. The community agreed and a new rescue unit and water tender were replaced. The new rescue unit is a 2005 F350 Ford/Northstar by Braun Northwest. The water tender is a 2004 Volvo with a 3500-gallon tank and a 1000gpm pump. During the summer of 2008, the fire district received a $72,000.00 FEMA grant to purchase a 2008 Ford F-550 brush engine.
Most recently, the citizens of the Evans Valley approved an operations tax levy. With this funding, a "Student Staffing Program" was started. In return for college tuition and book costs; the students pull 10 twenty-four-hour shifts a month. This allows for the fire district's response times to be significantly reduced. We even received an "Outstanding Program Award" from Special Districts of Oregon with our new staffing program.
Today EVFD has 8 fire/rescue apparatus, two permanent employees, 6 volunteer student firefighters, approx. 15 response volunteers, 40 support service members, and an ISO Class 5 rating. However, at our core, we are still the small rural fire district that was formed back in 1963. We rely heavily on community support to keep the doors open and are always looking for new volunteers. We are an organization founded by this community to protect this community and we will continue to do so to the best of our ability long into the future.
Thank you for your support,