Enumclaw Fire Department was founded in 1903 after a commercial fire tore through businesses and homes destroying a large section of the community. On November 17th, 1903, the Enumclaw Fire Department was organized. Samuel Lafromboise was nominated as the first Chief. He served from 1903-1918. L.A. Dibley was the first assistant chief, J.A. McKinnon was the second assistant chief; E.F. Eckhart stood as treasurer, and Paul Jensen was secretary. A week after the start of EFD, the businessmen of Enumclaw “chipped in” and bought 500ft of 2-inch hose to go with the 2 hose carts that the men pulled through town to a fire.
At this time the only method of spreading the news of a fire was either in person or by telephone. At a formal dedication ceremony, on April 7th, 1905, an alarm bell was placed in the tower in the city park. It was christened “The Sentinel” by Miss Marjorie Fahey. It was said that every man, woman, and child in town attended.
In 1909 the FD was incorporated under the laws of Washington State and in 1918 was finally turned over to the Enumclaw City Council to be governed.
May 3rd, 1921 was a great day in the history of EFD. The department purchased a 1921 Model T Fire Truck from the Collins Motor Co. The cost of the equipment, manufactured by the Northern Apparatus Co. of Minneapolis, was $2,390.00 and consisted of a hose body and a 40 gallon chemical tank. Adding still further to the efficiency of the department, a siren was installed, next to the bell, in 1923 for $650.00.
A lungmotor was purchased in 1931 at the cost of $225.00. The lungmotor was an early resuscitation device for forcing air into the lungs i.e.; in a respiratory arrest patient.
In 1946 the King County Fire District was formed. The first commissioners were also were local businessmen that worked toward the county adopting the Fire District. They were Hugh Kincade, Fred Armstrong, and Ira Baker.
As time moved on, it became apparent that the FD a larger building than City Hall, where they currently had their headquarters. In 1967 the process of building a new fire station was moved into action. The new fire station was completed in the fall of 1968 for $169,000.00. It had 4 bays that were pull-through from the alley. Each bay door was glass, top to bottom. The Fire Station was named in honor of former Chief, Guy Lafromboise.
In 1979 the first aid unit was put into service. The City bought the unit for $1.00 from Dwight Garrett. It was a 1979 Ford van that served the community until it was donated back to him sometime in the 90’s.
2011 was a busy year. Along with being annexed into King County Fire District 28, EFD also hired on 6 more full time, career staff, allowing each of the 3 shifts a minimum staffing of 4, 24/7, as per NFPA Standards.
EFD, with guidance of Chief Joe Clow, began all BLS transports in July of 2011 to help with the continuity of patient care and to bring in further revenue to support the funding to pay for the new career staffing.
***** Enumclaw Fire Department\’s Historical Timeline *****
Remodels and Upgrades
At the time of construction in 1968 the fire department was a volunteer department without the need for living space or sleeping quarters at 6,500 square feet. Since then there has been a lot of overall growth in the department incorporating more equipment, vehicles, and employees into the initial headquarters station.
There have been 3 major modifications to the structure bringing it, as it is today, to approximately 9,200 square feet. The first remodel was in 1983, the second was in 1999, the third was in 2009. In 2007 the station was finally upgraded with air conditioning.
For the remodel in 1983 there were two additional bays added to the south side of the building to house the addition of the 1983 Sutphen Aerial ladder truck as well as a service bay, with a pit, to aid in servicing the equipment that the department was operating. The total cost of the 1983 remodel was $123,170.00.
In 1999, administrative office space, as well as additional sleeping quarters, was added due to the increase in the need for staffing as the call volume in the city and county continued to rise. The remodel was estimated at $ 464,200.00.
Favorably, the final construction cost came in below the estimate at $ 427,056.00. Costs were kept below the original bid by the career firefighter’s involvement. They were able to assist with the construction of walls, painting, and assistance in pulling wire for the power, cable, and phone. The completion date was November 5, 1999.
Station 1 backup power is supplied by a 60Kw generator that was received sometime in 2003 after it was removed from the city police station. Air conditioning was added to improve the working & sleeping environment for the firefighters; being that the FD was the only building left in Enumclaw, at the time, to be without AC. In the summer of 2008, the firefighters finally were able to “sleep” comfortably.
In 2008, the latest station 1 upgrade was to replace the patched and leaking roof. It cost the department $163,600.09. This roof upgrade was long overdue and had been patched together for many years.
In September of 2011, with the know-how from career firefighters who had construction backgrounds, two walls were built. The first one sealed off the walk-through in the Chief’s office and the second wall was built in the kitchen to separate the kitchen and the training room. It began and was finished in September.