The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is an outgrowth of many years of maturation. Its early beginning took place during a meeting on March 19, 1912 of the Danville Improvement Club. This meeting included the leading ladies and men of Danville. At this meeting it was decided that a volunteer fire department needed to be organized. The idea was unanimously approved, and the name Danville Farm Defense Fire District was established. In 1921, a state law permitted the organization of special fire districts and empowered them with the authority to levy a tax for their support. Thus, on September 6, 1921, the Danville Farm Defense Fire District became the Danville Fire Protection District, an independent fire district and a political subdivision of the State of California. The official boundaries were re-designated to encompass the Alamo, Danville, Green Valley and Sycamore grammar school districts - an area of approximately fifty square miles.
In 1963, Contra Costa County reorganized its East County Fire Protection District into the San Ramon Fire Protection District, an independent district. In December 1979, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) initiated the consolidation of the Danville Fire Protection District and the San Ramon Fire Protection District. On July 1, 1980, with the merger complete, the two Districts were renamed the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD). The new District served the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon - a 70 square mile area. The organization comprised four fire stations, 27 emergency vehicles and 71 employees.With the reorganization of these two districts the newly formed District became governed by five locally elected directors, independent of the County Board of Supervisors.Some ten years later, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and the Tassajara Fire Protection District initiated a merger process. In January 1991, LAFCO completed the annexation of all territories of the Tassajara Fire Protection District and transferred them to the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, which included Tassajara Valley and the southern boundary of Morgan Territory. Simultaneously, the Tassajara Fire Protection District was dissolved.
In July 1997, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District and the City of San Ramon moved forward with an annexation of the Dougherty Regional Fire Authority to the SRVFPD. With this annexation, the District extended its fire service boundary to the Contra Costa/Alameda County line.
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District's evolution is notable and its endeavors impressive. Below is a summary of key milestones and accomplishments since its inception.
A "Fireman's Ball" was held to finance the Danville Farm Fire Defense District. The net proceeds of$100.00 realized at the event were deposited into the first bank account.
The Danville Fire Protection District (DFPD) purchased its first fire truck for $4,140.The new truck was a Reo-American La France, which replaced a trailer-equipped with ten 10-gallon milk cans full of water. The volunteer who got to the trailer first hitched it to their vehicle and pulled it tothe fire. Gunnysacks were soaked in the water and then used to beat out the fire.
The DFPD purchased for $600 the site of the first firehouse at 150 N. Hartz Avenue, Danville. The firehouse was completed and accepted on December 2, 1925.
A donated Dodge truck was converted into fire truck #2.
The DFPD volunteers began receiving 50 cents to answer a call and 50 cents per hour thereafter.
A two-way radio was installed between the firehouse and the County Sheriff, linking Danville with the rest of Contra Costa County.
At the height of the war years, government defense funds were provided to have a man sleep in the firehouse.
The DFPD entered the County Mutual Aid plan.
A second firehouse was completed and located in Alamo.
The DFPD established its first training program with the objective of developing new recruits with the ability to properly, safely and efficiently use the tools and equipment normally carried on fire apparatus.
The DFPD purchased land to relocate and construct Station 1 at 800 San Ramon Valley Boulevard in Danville to be renamed Station 31.
The DFPD completely modernized its communications system.
The DFPD received its first ambulance donated through the "Helen Howell Fundraiser."
The DFPD received an improved Class Rate from that of 5, issued in 1962, to a Class 4 rating, which illustrates an adequate level of fire protection facilities is being provided and maintained within the rapidly growing communities protected.
As a result of population growth, emergency medical response service for the DFPD increased 42% over those in 1976.
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (SRVFPD) began staffing its ambulance units with the delivery of paramedic service through a public/private partnership with John Muir Hospital.
Issued $13,100,000 Certificates of Participation for the acquisition and construction of certain land, equipment and capital improvements within the District. The primary projects included the construction of Station 36, Station 38 and the Administrative Office building and the remodeling of Station 31 and Station 33.
Station 36, located in Tassajara Valley was staffed to provide 24-hour protection, formerly a volunteer-staffed station under the former Tassajara Fire Protection District.
Refinanced Certificates of Participation issued in 1989 in an aggregated principal amount of $10,500,000.
A public safety trailer called the "Safe House" was added to the District's fleet, allowing the Fire Prevention Division to teach home fire safety to school age children.
The SRVFPD's Communication Center became accredited for pre-arrival medical instructions and call triaging. The District has consistently maintained this accreditation.
The SRVFPD published its first community newsletter, serving 38,000 households in the area. The newsletter provides timely information on seasonal fire prevention issues.
As a result of a rating review, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) granted the SRVFPD an upgrade from Class 3 to Class 2 in the urban/suburban area. This improved rating tremendously impacts the community the District serves. Commercial buildings can now save from 2.5% to 4.5% on their base fire insurance rates. Nationally, only 5% or fewer agencies hold this prestigious achievement. The District is a Class 5 in the rural areas and a Class 8 in the very remote rural areas.
The Board of Directors designated the Fire Chief as the first Treasurer for the District.
The SRVFPD gained "fiscal management" independence from Contra Costa County for financial reporting services. With the hiring of the District's first Chief Finance Officer in March of 1999, an "in-house" payroll, accounting and cash management system commences, terminating its contractual agreement with Contra Costa County.
The SRVFPD entered into a seven-year contract with Local 3546, a Memorandum of Understanding covering July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2007.
A Chaplaincy program, operating in a non-denominational setting, was instituted with its primary purpose to assist District personnel and their families for life needs. During the year, the program has begun "outreach" assistance into the community.
The District formed an official Honor Guard with the mission to provide honor and respect to firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty serving their community and country and to instill respect for national, state and local flags.
Reclassified two Fire Prevention Inspector positions to Deputy Fire Marshal, reorganizing the internal structure of the Division to better service the customer.
The SRVFPD broke ground for Station 30, located in Dougherty Valley. This turnkey facility, built and equipped by local developers, opened on June 1, 2002.
The District began staffing every first run unit with one Paramedic for every emergency call.
The District prepares its first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for evaluation and award consideration by the Government Finance Officers Association and the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers Association.
The District holds its first annual Employee Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony to acknowledge all the efforts put forth by each and every employee.
The Board of Directors adopts a new "mission" statement as a result of the strategic planning process.Refinanced Certificates of Participation issued 1993 in an aggregated principal amount of $8,910,000.
The District's Rescue Division was awarded the Certification as an Office of Emergency Services (OES) "Medium Rescue Unit." This certification is an important acknowledgement of the District's ongoing effort to provide emergency services during major disaster incidents.
The District instituted the Citizen's Emergency Response Team (CERT) in coordination with the Town of Danville, City of San Ramon, San Ramon Valley Unified School District and Contra Costa County Office of Emergency Services.
The District placed into service a Type 1 Communication Support Unit, the first totally self-contained mobile communications post in Contra Costa County.
The SRVFPD, along with the American Heart Association, Contra Costa County Emergency Medical Service Agency and the San Ramon Regional Medical Center, started the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program. The program places Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, public buildings and businesses.
Issued $9,485,000 Certificates of Participation for the acquisition and construction of certain land, equipment and capital improvements within the District. The primary projects included the relocation and construction of Station 36, two new stations in Alamo (east and west) that will replace the current Station 32 and the construction of an apparatus storage building at Station 31.
The District hired its first full-time Technology Manager, and conducted a complete reassessment of the District's Intergraph Computer-aided Dispatch System. This reconfiguration of the matrix, deployment plan and dispatch workflow was the most significant enhancement to the District's Computer-aided Dispatch System since its installation in 1993. Going live with the new model was the culmination of months of planning, training and implementation, streamlining and improving the reliability of many dispatch operations.
The District staffed an additional two person ambulance to its' emergency response fleet. This ambulance and two person crew are stationed at Station 31.
The Fire Prevention Division prepared and adopted an ordinance for implementation of the new 2007 California Fire Code. This involved many months of review as the new code differed greatly in many ways from the prior code. The resulting draft document was subjected to public hearings and meetings of directly impacted home builders and other stakeholders. After several meetings and in consideration of other laws impacting application of certain provisions the document was presented for adoption by the Fire District Board of Directors in October 2007. The most significant element contained in the ordinance, for this Fire District, was the lowering from 5,000 sq. ft. to 3,600 sq. ft. the threshold for installation of residential sprinkler systems. This requirement became effective July 1, 2008.
Three new Tractor-Drawn Ladder trucks (Tiller-trucks) are placed in service.
The District began construction of the new fire Station 36, an apparatus storage building at Station 31, and design of the new Fire Station 32.