Located between the beautiful Coast Range Mountains and the bustling greater Portland area, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue is a combination fire department that provides fire protection, emergency medical services, rescue, and fire & life safety education to the City of Forest Grove and the surrounding rural communities that make up the Forest Grove Rural Fire Protection District.
Forest Grove Fire & Rescue was originally formed on February 4, 1894 and our full time and volunteer firefighters have a long standing commitment to not only being there in an emergency, but for also being active in support of our community. Whether it's answering your questions on Facebook, keeping the fires going at the annual "Founder's Day Corn Roast", handing out glow sticks so kids can be seen on Halloween, or distributing toys and food to families in need during the holidays, our firefighters believe that they are more than emergency responders - we are neighbors working together to make Forest Grove a better place.
In 2010 Forest Grove Fire & Rescue entered into a partnership with the City of Cornelius to provide administrative services to their community after the retirement of their longtime Fire Chief. What initially started as a sharing of Fire Chief Michael Kinkade has grown to standardizing equipment, protocols, training, and standards between the two closely neighboring fire departments. Though we work for two different cities, because of this partnership Forest Grove and Cornelius Firefighters can now work seamlessly in an effort to respond to the needs of our area.
WESTERN WASHINGTON COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION
The earliest records of the Cornelius Fire Department show an organization date of November 6, 1912. At that time the equipment consisted of a hose cart and a ladder wagon, both hand drawn. Alarms were sounded by a bell in the tower of the City Hall. F.H. Sholes was the first Fire Chief from 1912 - 1917 and had 22 members. Marion Tibbits is shown as succeeding Chief from 1917 until 1929.
As of 2008, the Cornelius Fire Department serves an estimated population of 14,000 both city and rural. Cornelius Fire still helps with a mutual support to the surrounding towns such as, Hillsboro, Gaston, Banks, North Plains, and Forest Grove. The station has grown in many ways in the past few years. Nearly 1,100 calls were answered last year with the help of an average of 25 volunteers, 6 interns, and 4 career fire fighters. In January of '07 the Cornelius Fire Department introduced its brand new intern program. Since 2007, the intern program has expanded to 9 available positions. The main purpose of the internship is to help with staffing of the station by students who are interested in the fire service. With the addition of the interns, the fire department also allows out of district volunteers. The out of district volunteers allows for anybody who might live outside of Cornelius to help with the department.
There is much more to the Gaston Rural Fire District than the city of Gaston. For example, there's Cherry Grove. Built as a company town with its own railroad to serve a bustling mill, Cherry Grove now is a peaceful oasis in the rapidly growing Portland metropolitan area.
There's Patton Valley. Patton Valley could be a postcard with its well-kept farms and towering walls of timber. But Patton Valley also now is part of another growing part of our community: the wine industry.
Several more wineries skirt the western and southern edges of Gaston, drawing a steady stream of visitors to the area for tastes of some of the most sought-after pinot noir in Oregon.
As a tourist attraction, however, nothing beats Henry Hagg Lake. Behind the dam on Scoggins Creek lies the best water recreation site in the western metropolitan area. Boaters, kayakers, swimmers and fishermen flock to the quiet waters.
On shore, hikers, bicyclists and triathletes line the roadways and trails that circle the lake. The Gaston Rural Fire District's firefighters look after all of them.
All of our firefighters and support members are a part of the Western Washington county Firefighters association. This non profit organization and its members are whom you see most often at our most public events including ceremonies at the big flag and several of our pancake feeds.