In 1963, the El Dorado Hills County Water District was formed to provide water and sewer services to the community of El Dorado Hills. In the same year, the Fire Department was established under the County Water District. The citizens of El Dorado Hills voted in 1973 to have the water and sewer systems operated by El Dorado Irrigation District, therefore, leaving only fire protection under the direction of the County Water District Board.
At its inception, the District included approximately 10,500 acres with about ninety homes, one school, one market, and one fire station. During the past forty years, the District has expanded to approximately 30,000 acres with 13,215 homes and an estimated population of 39,645.
The public schools have grown to five elementary, two middle, and one high school. Commercial development includes a 900-acre business park with one hundred ten (110) buildings, totaling approximately 2,700,000 square feet. The total commercial square feet in the District is approximately 4,000,000.
George Charland, Chief Officer from 1963-1968
Robert Cima, Fire Chief from 1974-1993
Larry Fry, Fire Chief from 1993-2007
Brian Veerkamp, Fire Chief from 2007-2011
Dave Roberts, Fire Chief from 2011 – Present
Station 85 (One) was constructed in 1963 with the help of the volunteer firefighters and was utilized as a Fire Department, community building, Community Services District office, and County Water District office. In 1990, the station was remodeled and expanded. The project included remodeling the existing station and adding 3,800 square feet.
Station 84 (Two) was constructed in 1982 and staffed with volunteer personnel for nine years. In 1991, Station 84 was staffed with paid personnel, in addition to volunteer personnel. A major remodel of Station 84 was completed in 1993, adding a storage area, dormitory, and restroom facilities to accommodate the paid staff assigned there. In addition, the outside was remodeled, adding a hose tower and an above ground fuel tank.
In June of 1995, the Fire Department hired three paramedics and operated a paramedic engine out of Station 84. Since that time, all stations operate with Advanced Life Support. Several volunteer personnel have also completed paramedic accreditation in El Dorado County.
In order to meet the increasing demands of the wildland urban interface in 1996, the District purchased two new engines designed for wildland interface fires and one new engine for fighting structure type fires.
In 1999, the District purchased a ten-acre parcel in the Bass Lake area to build a new fire station. In February 2001, the District also placed in service a new Quint apparatus with a 105 foot aerial ladder and a new fire engine. The District also completed its hiring process by adding twelve new paid positions and seven new volunteer positions. This brought the District total to forty-seven paid personnel and forty- five volunteers.
In February 2001, the District also began operating a full-time paramedic ambulance which is funded through a contract with the Joint Powers Authority and El Dorado County.
In March 2001, Station 86 opened and was staffed with three personnel and equipped with an advanced life support engine. Also placed into service was a new wildland urban interface engine.
In 2001, the Department received a regrading from the Insurance Services Office. The District is currently rated at Class 3 for areas with fire hydrants and Class 8 for rural areas. This grading is a reduction from prior years which may mean an insurance rate savings for commercial business as well as residential development.
A new Air/Light Support Unit was placed in service in February 2002. This unit provides the District with the capability of filling air bottles on scene as well as providing additional rescue and lighting support.
In 2003, the District completed the purchase of property at Wilson and El Dorado Hills Boulevard and began construction on a new Fire Station/Administrative Office to replace the forty-year old station at Lassen Lane. Also in 2003, the District reorganized its Administrative Staff by adding two Battalion Chief positions which were filled through an internal promotional process.
In 2004, the El Dorado Hills Fire Department established their own Honor Guard comprised of dedicated professionals that thrive on representing the El Dorado Hills Fire Department to the highest standards. Membership has encompassed Chief Officers, Captains, Engineers, Firefighters, and Volunteer Firefighters. The Honor Guard members perform their duties on a voluntary, non-compensated basis honoring those that have gone before as well as performing at many community events.
Construction of our new Administrative Offices and Fire Station was completed in January of 2005. This facility is 26,000 square feet and will accommodate the District needs for the next fifty years providing ample room to add staff as the District continues to grow. The new facility includes a large community meeting room. The District also added an additional Administrative Assistant to augment the front office staff.
After vacating the Lassen Lane Station, the District successfully negotiated a five-year lease agreement with El Dorado County to convert the old station into a Senior Center which has since been sold to the County and named the Ramona “Moni” Gilmore Senior Center” after our own late Board of Director.
In 2005, the District purchased a 21 acre site on Cypress Point Court in the El Dorado Hills Business Park. In June of 2007, the District hired nine paramedics for Station 87 staffing. New Type I and Type III engines were purchased for the Station 87 opening. Our fourth fire station (#87) was opened and staffed on this property in January 2008. A training facility complete with classrooms, training tower, and various firefighting props is now in the planning stages.
At the opening of Station 87, the District transitioned the Administrative Battalion Chiefs to Shift Battalion Chiefs to help facilitate growth and personnel management. In 2007, an additional Administrative Assistant was added to the front office staff.
In 2008, three new administrative personnel were added; an Administrative Assistant, an Inspection Specialist and an Operations Support Specialist.
In 2011, in an effort to reduce expenses, the Shift Battalion Chief positions were dissolved. The Deputy Chief, Fire Marshal, and Administrative Battalion Chief of Training took on the duties of the eliminated Shift Battalions. The Organizational Chart reflects this staffing change.