In 1854 the citizens of the Georgetown community developed fire protection via a loosely organized group known as the Mountain Hook and Ladder Company. The Georgetown Fire District was legally formed as a political governmental agency in 1938. In 1939, the District purchased its first new engine, a Studebaker that was restored in 2000 by the Georgetown Volunteer Firefighters and in particular, Captain Bill Mahl (retired).
The District saw slow continuous growth over the years. Presently, the District covers 96 square miles containing 2330 parcels. The population of the District is about 6,500. The District has one elementary school, an alternate education primary grade school facility, and a small K-4 schoolhouse within its boundaries. Commercial development is located in primarily two geographical areas of the District within a mile of each other. In addition, there is a general aviation airport, a water treatment facility and two bulk propane plants that are known target hazards.
Station 61 was constructed in the early 1960’s. It served as the headquarters for the volunteer firefighters. The first paid fire chief established his administration in that facility. It has one full-time paid firefighter/EMT and one full-time Fire Training Officer / Paramedic. In 1993, the District purchased an adjoining building and remodeled it to accommodate the needs of the personnel. The District is out growing the Main Street station. At some point in the foreseeable future, the District will either have to replace this station or substantially increase its capabilities. Current concerns are that the apparatus bays are too small for the apparatus; the roof is flat and chronically leaks. Areas for dealing with biohazards need greater attention. There is a substantial lack of available office space, shower / bath facilities and parking space.
Station 62 was constructed in 1977. It is staffed with volunteer personnel. It currently houses a Type II 4wd (structure) engine and a 3200-gallon water tender.
Station 63 was constructed in the early 1980’s. It is staffed with volunteer personnel. It should be noted that the station was constructed primarily due to the help from local residents in the Volcanoville area by helping to fund the construction. Without that financial support, the station would not have been possible. The District just purchased a 1995 pumper-tender vehicle with an 1800-gallon water tank. This unit is specifically designed to meet the needs of a remote, isolated residential rural area. This unit was built to meet the ISO rural 8 rating.
Station 64 was built in the late 1980’s. It is also staffed with volunteer personnel. The station currently houses a Type I (structure) engine and a recently restored Volunteer Firefighter’s 1938 Studebaker. This restoration was accomplished through funds donated to the firefighters for that specific purpose.
Station 65 was constructed and opened in 1996 covering the Quintette area. This project was a cooperative project between the District and the United States Forest Service, Georgetown Ranger District. This project is an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation that creates cost savings for taxpayers. Without this cooperation, the station would not have been constructed.
Station 66 is a potential lot in the Balderston area. Therefore, there has been virtually no investment in capital improvements to this station site. This station was originally planned out in the first long term spending plan completed by District administration in 1986. There are no current plans for future development of this facility.
In 1981, the District became a part of a cooperative agreement with El Dorado County Service Area Seven. Thus, the District houses, operates and administers an Advanced Life Support ambulance twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Two personnel are on duty at any given time providing ambulance service to the entire Divide.
In 1993, the District hired a seasonal Firefighter/EMT. The position was a temporary full-time position during fire season. In 1995, the District entered into an agreement with the Americorps program. In 1998 Americorps withdrew from El Dorado County. In 1999 the District was able to put on a seasonal engine staffed with two firefighter/paramedics. It is the first time in the history of the Fire District that an engine was staffed at an Advanced Life Support level. Currently, the District operates an ALS engine on a part time staff available basis.
Current District staffing includes a full time Chief, a full time Administrative Assistant, one full time Fire Training Officer-Paramedic, one full time Firefighter-EMT, and a full time Fire Equipment Mechanic. There are five Firefighter/Paramedics and one Firefighter/EMT assigned to the ambulance. The Firefighter / EMT also serves as the District Fire Prevention Officer. There are approximately 30 fire line volunteer firefighters on the roster.
During fire season, the District operates with seasonal firefighters in order to have at least two firefighters on each wildland engine per response. The number of seasonal firefighters employed is directly related to available funding.