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Washington County Fire District 2

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Covid-19
Country  United States
County  Washington
Employees  12 paid 20 volunteer
State  Oregon
Established  1952
Staffing  Career and volunteer

Washington County Fire District 2 (WCFD2) is a special-purpose government fire fighting and emergency services district in Washington County on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area of Oregon. Established in 1952, it primarily provides fire and emergency medical services in the central portion of the county surrounding Hillsboro, including the city of North Plains., The District has two fire stations.

Contents

History

The district was established in 1952 as the Hillsboro Rural Fire Protection District. In 1964, the district sued the county to recover $1,281 for fighting a fire at the county's dump, but the district eventually lost at the Oregon Supreme Court. Volunteers built a temporary station in 1966 off Brookwood Avenue on the eastern edge of Hillsboro. In the 1970s the headquarters for the district were in Orenco. By 1973 the name was changed to Washington County Fire District 2.

In 1981, the city approved plans for a new fire station off Brookwood, which became the Drake Lane Station that later became part of the Hillsboro Fire Department (HFD). Neighboring Fire District 1 (now Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue) gave WCFD2 a used tanker truck in 1984, and at that time WCFD2 was the largest in the county covering 150 square miles (390 km2).

WCFD2 signed a five-year contract with Hillsboro in July 1987 that moved eight paid fire fighters from the district to the HFD and consolidated operations to where both forces responded to emergencies in both territories. The agreement also called for HFD to relocate an engine company from the city’s Parkwood Station to the district’s Orenco Station, which it did in July 1988 after annexing Tanasbourne. At that time, the district had four fire stations: North Plains, Orenco, Brookwood, and Midway. The next year WCFD2 considered consolidation with the then new Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, who maintained the district’s equipment. The district sought consolidation, but not a merger, after continuing to loose territory to annexations.

Plans started in 1991 to replace the Midway fire station that was built in the 1950s. WCFD2 built the new station directly south of the prior one, building it over four-years to spread the construction costs over several tax years. The district sent firefighters in August 1994 to help fight wildfires around Leavenworth, Washington, along with other firefighters in the county. WCFD2 had only three paid firefighters as of 1995, with 30 volunteers at each of the two stations. In 1997, WCFD2 contracted with the Hillsboro Fire Department for the latter to provide administrative support for the district, which allowed the district to have four paid fire fighters. Those duties include inspections, education, maintenance, and training. In 2002 District 2 hired Dennis England as fire chief, who remained until October 2012. Upon his retirement, the chief of the Hillsboro department again became the acting chief of WCFD2. In February 2015 the board of directors contracted for the services of an Interim Chief, Jim Stearns, who reports to the district's board.

The district opened a new fire station in North Plains in February 1998 on Northwest Commercial Street paid for by a $750,000 bond passed in 1996. At the time the station had just two paid fire fighters along with 30 volunteers. The old station, built about 1951, had been damaged by the Spring Break Quake in 1993. The new station is 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) and can house up to eight apparatus in the four equipment bays.

The Midway station handled 497 calls in 2001. In 2002, the district used donations to purchase a thermal-imaging camera. The district was involved in possible merger discussions or coordination in training and purchasing in 2005 with all of the fire departments in the western part of the county. However, none of the departments merged. The district ended its two-year contract with Hillsboro for administrative services in February 2015. On September 1, 2015, a new contract with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) started with that agency taking over administrative functions and talks of a possible annexation of the district into Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. On November 8, 2016, voters in the district voted to merge into TVF&R.

Apparatus and stations

WCFD2 has two fire stations. The main station is located in downtown North Plains, which is Station 17 and includes administration for the district. Station 17 has three bays and houses two fire engines, one water tender, and two brush rigs. Station 19 is located south of Hillsboro in the unincorporated community of Midway along Oregon Route 219. Apparatus at Station 19 includes two engines, a brush rig, and one water tender.

Organization

The district is governed by a five-person board of directors and led by a fire chief. WCFD2 has 12 paid fire fighters along with 40 volunteers who respond to about 1,200 calls annually.

The district stretches from the Multnomah County line on the north all the way to the border with Yamhill County on the south, passing between Cornelius and Hillsboro. It wraps around Hillsboro with some unincorporated areas on the east side of Hillsboro in the district. Communities in the district include North Plains, Helvetia, parts of Rock Creek and West Union, Laurel, Midway, Farmington, and Scholls. Overall, the district covers 122 square miles (320 km2).

References

Washington County Fire District 2 Wikipedia


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