Our formal beginning was April 8, 2000. We were part of the Pine Ridge Property Owners Association (PRPOA) at that time. Nine firefighters signed on and we were off and running.
Larry Pearsall started the department and became the first Fire Chief.
Our first fire engine, a 1953 Ford, has been donated to the Cal Fire Historical Society and will be displayed in their museum. That engine can still be seen in the Website Header.
We were stakeholders in the Highway 168 Fire Safe Council from the beginning and continue to support that organization.
We inaugurated the Road Ranger organization on September 9, 2000. This is a unique group of women that support the fire fighters. The Road Rangers direct traffic during incidents and guide emergency vehicles to the scene. They wear bright orange vests and helmets and are equipped with radios, traffic signs and cones. This organization also includes four members who ride ATV vehicles. They are known as the “Quad Squad”. They are equipped with full wildland personal protective equipment (PPE) including fire shelters so they can work on the fireground. They patrol for spot fires, deliver food and water and perform many other useful tasks. Captain Sharon Moore originally headed up this organization. Captain Sue Martin is now in charge.
Training has always been an important part of our department. We have trained with neighboring fire departments and Cal Fire as well as in our own area. Captain Gary Martin and Chief Colbert have both served as training officers. Captain James Parr is currently in charge of training.
On June 9, 2001 PRPOA felt that we were a liability to them because of the high risk of injury or lawsuit. As a result, we became an independent organization.
We became Fresno County Fire Protection District Company 68
on May 11, 2002.
The very prestigious Bronze Smokey Bear award was presented to PRPOA on October 6, 2003. Chief Pearsall conceived, developed and implemented the program and the majority of people that did the work were members of our fire department.
Our department operational expenses are entirely funded through donations from our constituents and many organizations and agencies. We have also received grants for equipment purchases.
On June 4, 2004 we received 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS. This will help us to garner donations.
We have evolved from nine untrained firefighters and one old engine to a viable fire department with over twenty firefighters, road rangers, and auxillary members; in addition to 4 engines and 2 patrols.