As a nonprofit district, the Fortuna volunteer fire department reached out to the local community for financial support to keep the high quality emergency assistance they continue to provide.
There are five companies in the Fortuna Fire District. Three are in Fortuna downtown area, one in Campton Heights, and the other in Hydesville. The district area covers Fernbridge, Alton, Palmer Creek, Hydesville, and the metropolitan area.
The district is made up of 69 active members: one chief, two assistant chiefs, one safety officer, five captains, 10 lieutenants, and 50 firefighters. The members are crucial to the success and ability of the District, but equally important is the equipment. The district maintains six attack engines, two aerial ladder trucks, two water tenders, two rescue trucks, and three 4x4 command vehicles.
The department maintains, as Chief Lon Winburn states, "a superb ISO Public Protection Classification Rating which dictates fire insurance rates for residential and commercial properties."
The department was dispatched to 527 fire and service calls in 2011, including 315 service calls, 96 medical calls, 39 traffic accidents, 21 other fire calls, 16 vegetation fires, 16 vehicle fires, 13 hazardous conditions, eight structure fires, and three mutual aids.
One thing the department does not short themselves or their community on is volunteer hours on the job and in training. The department has a huge amount of dedication to realistic and challenging training to assure the best service to their community. The department logged 2,880 training hours and 4,300 volunteer service hours.
The funds received from the community are used, according to the department, "for various items and activities, supplementing the Fire District's budget to provide fire protection activities with their schools, fire prevention week open house, participation in community events, fire hall maintenance and supplies, antique fire equipment restoration, firefighter recognition, and firefighter safety equipment."
The department's mission statement, as shared by Chief Winburn: "To preserve and protect the life, health and property of the residents of the Fortuna Fire Protection District from fire, disaster and emergency incidents through education, training, prevention and preparation."
Anyone who would like to donate, join the department, or obtain more information can call 725-5021. Donations can be mailed to: FVFD, 320 South Fortuna Blvd., Fortuna CA 95540.
Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer
The community has come to rely on the loyalty and dedication of the Fortuna volunteer fire department that has shown so much love to them throughout the year.