Snohomish County Fire District No.7 was officially established in 1946 after several local citizens pursued the idea of organizing a fire district to service their community. Washington State Legislature had developed RCW Title 52, which provided the ability to develop boundaries (jurisdictions) for the purpose of taxing property owners for fire protection services. Initially, the Fire District operated out of one station located at the same site where Station 71 is today. The first fire apparatus was a 1941 Ford Pumper, which served the estimated population of 1,400.
As the area began to develop, the District sought the need to build Station's 72 and 73 in response to the growing needs of the community. Accordingly, two new 1959 Seagrave Pumpers were purchased and allocated to these stations. The population of the District continued to increase with the accompaniment of some light industry in the Maltby area. As such, Station 74 was constructed to meet the service requirements of this area. Up until 1971, the District was run entirely through volunteer personnel. To cope with the increasing responsibility and time constraints associated with administrative duties, the District hired its first full-time, paid employee, Peg Dougherty, who was employed as the District Administrative Secretary. A short time later, Larry Schulze, was hired as the first full-time firefighter with the additional responsibility of performing maintenance on department apparatus.
With the introduction of fire department-based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the tremendous rate of growth through the 1970's, the District hired Rick West as it's first full-time Fire Chief in 1977. This position was needed to administrate department operations to meet the growing demands of the community. Several service improvements were made during Chief West's tenure.
Chief Richard Eastman was hired as Fire Chief in 1978 and presently serves in that position. The late 1970's and early 1980's brought about many more changes. First, Station 75 was constructed to better service the Lost Lake Area. Second, it was estimated that 70% of the alarms received were for emergency medical services and the population had grown to approximately 30,000. Third, newly constructed Stations 71 and 72 (replacing existing construction at Station 71 site; purchasing new property for new construction of Station 72) were upgraded to facilitate 24-hour staffing by full-time personnel. And fourth, Chief Eastman saw an opportunity to expand the EMS Division to include an advanced life support (ALS) paramedic service.
After the City of Mill Creek officially incorporated in 1983, the City opted to continue to receive fire protection and emergency medical services under a contract with Fire District No.7. Although growth of residential housing was primary during the late 1980's, light industry had grown steadily as well. Once again, the citizens realized the need for increased services. Therefore, they approved tax increases to fund improvements to fire and emergency medical services, which resulted in the purchase of new apparatus, and an increase in the number of full-time personnel. Property was also purchased to construct a new Station 73 to serve the residential area of Bear Creek. In 1998 two new stations were built to accommodate our continued growth and improve our level of service. Station 76 was built in the city of Mill Creek while Station 77 was built to service the new communities of Gold Creek and Silver Firs. In 1999, personnel moved out of the original Maltby fire station into a third new facility known as Station 74.
The District has met the many challenges faced with rapid growth; specifically, the transformation from a traditional volunteer department to a combination volunteer-career department, the introduction of emergency medical services, fire prevention services, hazardous materials response, increased federal and State training requirements, as well as many other challenges. Despite this, the District has developed along with the community it serves.
Today, the population is estimated to be nearly 60,000. The District operates seven fire stations with Station 76 located in and serving the City of Mill Creek under a long-term contract for services. Currently, the District now employs approximately eighty-eight (88) full-time and nearly forty (40) volunteer personnel. Snohomish County Fire District No.7 will undoubtedly see additional advances as it continues to meet the needs of the community. All personnel; past, present, and future can feel proud of the accomplishments made by this department during the last several decades as well as for the accomplishments yet to come.