PFPD History

         The Pacific Fire Protection District was formed by a vote of the public in 1973. Prior to the incorporation of the fire district, fire protection was provided by the City of Pacific for residents within city limits and by rural fire associations that charged dues to residents not in the city. The first Fire Chief of the Pacific Fire Protection District was Wayne Franek, appointed April 2, 1973. The district was divided into two battalions, the Robertsville battalion (house # 2) was commanded by Battalion Chief Bill Graf, Captain Ed Rathert and Lieutenant Ken Prichard. Battalion Chief John Hartman, Captains Richard Barnes, Edwin Bruns and Tom Tobey and Lieutenants Rick Titter and James Tobey commanded the Pacific battalion (house # 1). Early in 1974, John Hartman took over the Fire Chief’s job and was met very early with the challenge of losing Pumper #613 due to a roll over accident on Highway F south of Pacific on March 22.  1976 saw the district place in service a new boat, motor and trailer, which were purchased out of the pockets of the volunteer fire firefighters at house 10. The district received another gift, this time from the Pacific Kiwanis Club, in October. This civic organization had raised enough donations to purchase the “Jaws of Life” for the district. 1977 began with Edwin Bruns’ appointment as Fire Chief. In June 1977, the deed for the property for a new station in Robertsville was received.  1980 began with the appointment of Tom Whitworth to Fire Chief. Chief Whitworth was hired as a full time employee making him the district’s first paid firefighter and paid fire chief. Late in October of 1980, a bid for $47,961.00 was awarded for the construction of a new station 2. March of 1981, a motion passes to purchase an FMC pumper with a 55’ aerial ladder for $139,375.00. The ladder would remain in service until it was replaced in 2002 and for many years was the only ladder truck in the area and responded to fires in St. Louis, Sullivan, Cedar Hill and other areas. On May 6, 1981 the district entered into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation to lease ½ acre of conservation ground at the Pacific Palisades Conservation Area. This land would be used for the construction of station 3. On June 8th, the new station 2 was placed in service and on September 21st, a bid for $33,752.00 was awarded for the construction of station 3. This building would be occupied on March 15, 1982. In July of 1982, the ladder truck was placed in service and in August, Bill Graf was appointed volunteer Fire Chief and retained the position of Fire Marshal. The district would not have a paid chief again until 1985. In December 1986, Rick Friedmann was appointed volunteer Fire Chief and Ken Prichard was appointed volunteer Deputy Chief. Chief Friedmann was hired full time as Fire Chief on May 1, 1990. In October of 1990 the decision was made to add living quarters to station 2. The district acted as it’s own general contractor and some of the work was performed by district staff allowing the project to be completed at minimal cost. Beginning January 1, 1995, the district began to staff station 1 and station 2 on a 24 hour/day, 7 day/week basis. On August 8, 1996, a resolution was approved by the board of directors to put a $2,000,000 bond issue on the ballot in November. This bond sale would finance the construction of a new station 1/administration office and an addition of two apparatus bays and a training room at station 2. The voters approved this bond issue. On February 12, 1998, a bid for $1,192,000.00 was awarded for the construction of the new station 1. This building would be occupied in November of the same year with an open house and dedication on March 21, 1999.In December of 1999, a motion passed to hire 2 additional full time firefighters bringing the total paid staff to 12 and allowing for 2 firefighters to be on duty 24 hours/day, 7 days/week at stations 1 and 2. In January of 2003, a motion passed to purchase 40 self-contained breathing apparatus, 40 spare bottles and 52 masks for $129,755.00. These units would replace the existing breathing apparatus used by the district, some of which were near 30 years old. 90 percent of the money for these units came from a federal grant program through the Department of Homeland Security. On January 13, 2004, a motion passed to put a $0.20 general fund tax increase on the April ballot. This funding would be used to hire 3 additional full time personnel and fund a part-time program to fill one firefighters position everyday. The voters approved this increase and staffing was increased to 3 firefighters on duty at station 1 and station 2 everyday beginning in January of 2005. November of 2004, a motion passed to purchase new hydraulic rescue equipment. This purchase was funded through a grant from the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency. Some of this equipment replaced the original “Jaws of Life” donated by the Kiwanis in 1977. The remaining equipment was used to enhance and expand the district’s capabilities to extricate patients from all types of entrapments.

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