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PENN VALLEY, Calif. October 4, 2016 – This year on October 8th, from 10:00 am to 2:00pm, the Penn Valley Fire Protection District is celebrating the National Fire Prevention week with our very first annual open house event. Join us for a BBQ lunch cooked by the Penn Valley Firefighters Association. We will have different fire and safety organizations from our community, including a special appearance from a REACH Air Medical Services Helicopter.

We invite you and your family to come out and spend the day with us on October the 8th, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at our Fire Station #43 located at 10513 Spenceville Road in Penn Valley, take a tour of the Fire Station, Engines, Ambulances, meet your Firefighters, learn how to use a fire extinguisher with live fire demonstrations, kids activities and more and take the opportunity to learn more about the Fire District and the different services that we provide to you.

A brief history of the Penn Valley Fire Protection District

  • In March of 1954 the Penn Valley Volunteer Fire Department was formed at a citizens meeting at the Indian Springs School. A “nest egg” in the amount of $165.80 and two offers of land upon which to house fire equipment was collected. The Volunteer Fire Company served a population of 294 people in 116 houses.
  • 1972 an old Cadillac ambulance was used to provide service for rescue calls utilizing volunteers qualified in first aid & CPR, very few EMT-1’s and EMT-2’s.
  • 1974 the Penn Valley Fire Protection District was formed, succeeding the Volunteer Department
  • 1975-1985 calls for service had increased to where a schedule was utilized, filled in with volunteers for the entire 24 hour day covering 365 days a year, with at least one EMT-2 on duty.
  • 1985 Penn Valley Fire Protection District purchased its first modern ambulance and hired 24-hour, paid, EMT 2’s. This is when we started providing Advanced Life Support to the community.

Today, the Penn Valley Fire Protection District is still the only Advanced Life Support (ALS, Paramedic) Fire Department in Western Nevada County, including operating our own transporting ambulance service. Two Fire Stations are staffed, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year with a minimum of 5 personnel on each day including no less than 2 Paramedics.

The Penn Valley Fire Protection District proudly serves 92 square miles, with an approximate population of 14,000 people, covering the areas of Penn Valley, Lake Wildwood, Kentucky Flat, Mooney Flat and Big Oak, averaging approximately 1,400 emergency calls per year between the two Fire Stations. The District is governed by a 5-person elected Board of Directors.

The Penn Valley Fire Auxiliary is a non-profit organization which is not controlled by the District. They have a roster of approximately 50 dedicated volunteers that operate the thrift shop behind Station 43. Through their hard work and dedication to the community they raise between $90,000 and $100,000 per year which they donate to the Fire District. Their donation is the major revenue for the fund to purchase fire engines, ambulances, command vehicles and personal protective equipment for the employees. They also provide aid to fire victims by supplying them with clothing and other needed items to help them recover from a fire loss. The Thrift Shop will be open on the day of the open house, feel free to stop by and show your support.

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The Penn Valley Firefighters Association is a non-profit organization which is not controlled by the District. It is comprised of paid firefighters and volunteers from the community. They put on an all you can eat breakfast the third Sunday of each month at Station 43. They use proceeds to support the District by buying the chairs, tables, dishes and other items that are used in the training/meeting room at Station 43. They also fund the Carlton Dutra Memorial Scholarship fund, which is for students who are pursuing a fire service or emergency medical service related degree. The Penn Valley Firefighters Association will be cooking a BBQ lunch during the open house available to all who attend.

National Fire Prevention Week

National Fire Prevention week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire which occurred in 1871. This fire burned more than 2000 acres, destroyed more than 17,000 structures and left 100,000 people homeless in just a few days. Survivors of the Great Chicago Fire never forgot what they had been through, witnessing countless acts of bravery and heroism, but the fire also changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety. On the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, the Fire Marshals Association of North America decided that the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be observed not with festivities, but in a way that would keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9th falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during that week every year since 1925.

Each year since 1927 Fire Prevention Week has had a different theme for preventing fires in your home. This year the theme is “Don’t Wait, Check the Date-Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”.

To go along with the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week we will be promoting our very successful smoke alarm program, which is offered to anyone who lives within our District boundaries. Crews will come to your home and install new smoke alarms, replace batteries and provide you with a home safety inspection, all free of charge. This program was started in 2006 and since then we have replaced nearly 2000 batteries and installed over 800 smoke alarms.