History of the Mtn. Home Fire Department
History of the Mtn. Home Fire DepartmentBack to Top
The Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department was officially formed in 1908, it’s first constitution, and by laws, written not until May 1st, 1916 by 20 men who were at that time residence of the Village of Mountain Home. Previous to this date there are just hand-written notes and scribbling from a group of men who were part of an unorganized fire group. It’s not until 1920 that records start to list some of the equipment that the fire department was using at that time. Although there is a picture of 12 men standing in front of what appears to be an American LaFrance pumper dated 1917, there are no records of this equipment. The first written records show the department as having 1, 4 cyl. Studebaker “Hose Wagon” equipped with 1000’ of 2 ½” cotton hose and 200’ of 1” rubber hose. There were also ladders and portable extinguishers at the fire station and staged throughout town. The department was responsible for a 9-square block area between Lockman (E 2nd S) and Bert (E 3rd N) to the north and south, and Alturas (South Main) and Bennett (N 3rd E) to the east and west. The original fire station was in what is now city hall. It consisted of two bays and a storage area for equipment. This was the station from at least 1920 until 1964, when the city purchased land from the Bideganeta family and remodeled the Royal Hotel and Alibi Club into a 4-bay station with a meeting room. This new station housed 4 fire pumpers, a tanker and a salvage truck. The station in 1972 was condemned do to cracking in the walls. That building was eventually removed and construction of Fire Station #1 began late in 1972, at its current location. This new building was to house 4 trucks, (1 a new pumper to be delivered that year), a tanker and the salvage truck and was to serve as the headquarters for the 22 members. The building was designed with future expansion in mind. It had room upstairs for sleeping quarters, a meeting room, recreation area and kitchenette. As growth continued in Mountain Home, a second station was constructed in the 1400 block of N 6th E. This was followed by Station #3 built in 2003 and is located on W 8th S. Growth has also seen the department grow from 22 positions to its current 33 firefighter positions. Growth in equipment also continued in 2005 when the city, with some help from federal funding purchased 3 brand new Pierce “Enforcer” Fire Engines. These new pumpers were added to replace 2 aging American LaFrance pumpers that were losing their reliability on the fire scene. This brought the apparatus total for the department to 5 pieces. They joined a 1996 Pierce “Dash” pumper and a 1989 Pierce “Lance” 75’ aerial ladder truck. The department was completely volunteer until the city appointed Chief Phil Gridley as its first full-time fire department employee in 1991. This was followed in 2006 when the department saw its first full time firefighter. Another milestone in manpower was actually woman power when the fire department welcomed its first female firefighter in 2005. In July of 1986 our department reached a milestone when the Idaho Survey and Rating Bureau upgraded our departments ISO rating to a “4”, the best rating in the state at that time. (among both volunteer and full-time departments) With the continued investment in training, equipment, manpower and water supply, business and residential owners benefited when that rating was dropped to a “3”. the first for any volunteer department ever. The Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department has always been involved in community activities and events throughout town. We have been holding the Annual Fireman’s Ball every year since 1908. The Ball is the finale to our fundraising drive for the Fire Dept. Burn Out Fund. We also put on the annual 4th of July Fireworks show and participate in all of the parades held each year. As the Mountain Home Volunteer Fire Department continues to make history, we will never forget who we are and where we once were.