East Contra Costa Fire Protection District History
The East Contra Costa Fire District was formed in November of 2002 by combining the Bethel Island Fire District, The East Diablo Fire District, and the Oakley Fire District.
Station 16 - Located at 11851 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton [CalFire Sunshine Station]
This station belongs to Cal-Fire which ECCFPD contracts for service within the Marsh Creek area.
Station 52 - Located at 201 John Muir Parkway, Brentwood [Constructed in 2001]
Station 53 - Located at 530 O'Hara Avenue, Oakley [Renamed from Station 93 on June 30, 2017]
This station was constructed in 2011 and replaced the old station 93 at 212 2nd Street, Oakley [First occupied 08/18/2011] The old Station located at 212 Second Street station was the Oakley Fire Protection District headquarters station and was constructed in 1963.
Station 54 - Located at 739 First Street, Brentwood [Constructed in 1957] Closed 7/1/2012] then [Reopened 5/1/2013][Closed again 9/2/2014] This station was the Brentwood Fire Protection District headquarters station 1928-1984.
Station 57 - Located at 3024 First Street, Byron [Constructed in 1964] [Closed- July 2010]
This station was the Byron Fire Protection District headquarters station from 1929-1991.
Station 58 - Located at 1535 Discovery Bay Boulevard, Discovery Bay [Occupied September 8, 1980] [Closed – July 2010]
Station 59 - Located at 1685 Bixler Road, Discovery Bay [Constructed in 2002]
Station 93 - Located at 530 O'Hara Avenue, Oakley Renamed to Station 53 on June 30, 2017]
Station 94 - Located at 15 A Street Knightsen. [Constructed in 1964] [Closed 7/1/2012] [Reopened Nov 18, 2012][Closed again May 11, 2015] This station was in the Oakley Fire Protection District
Station 95 - Located at 3045 Ranch Lane, Bethel Island. [Constructed in 1950] [Closed 7/1/2012]
This station was in the Bethel Island Fire Protection District and was the headquarters station.
Station Openings & Closers Since 2002
Staffing Time Periods:
1. Nov 2002 - 8 stations partially staffed (2-3 Person Engine Companies)
Combination Department Career / Paid on call - Volunteer
2. July 2010- 6 stations - Closed #57 Byron, #58 Discovery Bay (2-3 person engine companies)
3. July 1, 2012- 3 Stations - Closed #94 Knightsen, #54 Brentwood, #95 Bethel Island
Career organization – No volunteer / Paid on Call Firefighters (3 person engine companies)
3. a- Aug 29, 2012 SAFER Grant Awarded
4. Nov 18, 2012 – Do to SAFER grant, increased from 3-4 Stations - Reopened #94 in Knightsen(3 person engine companies)
5. May 1, 2013 - Do to SAFER grant, increased from 4-5 Stations - Reopened #54 Brentwood (3 person engine companies)
6. Sept 2, 2014 - 4 Stations - Closed #54 Brentwood due to lack of personnel. Employees sought employment elsewhere anticipating the conclusion of the SAFER Grant (3 person engine companies)
7. Oct 24, 2014 - 4 Stations, Closed #94 Knightsen due to Mold, Reopened #54 Brentwood (3 person engine companies)
7. a- Nov 18, 2014 - SAFER Grant Ended
8. Jan 1, 2015 - 4 Stations - Reopened #94 Knightsen Mold cleared, Closed #54 Brentwood (3 person Companies)
9. May 11, 2015 - 3 Stations - Closed #94 Knightsen (3 person engine companies)
10. July 2, 2016 - 4 Stations - Reopened #94 Knightsen (3 person engine companies)
11. July 1, 2017 - 3 Stations - Closed #94 Knightsen (3 person engine companies)
History from 1924-2002 before ECCFPD 2002 Consolidation
Brentwood Fire Protection District: [1928-1984]
The Brentwood Fire District was formed in 1928. It had one fire station, 91, in downtown Brentwood.
Brentwood Fire District was dissolved and became part of the East Diablo Fire Protection District in 1984.
Station 91 became Station 54 in East Diablo Fire Protection District
Byron Fire Protection District: [1929-1991]
The Byron Fire District was formed in 1929.
It served the unincorporated area of Byron and later the Community of Discovery Bay.
The Byron Fire District had two fire stations. Station 97 located in Byron and Station 98 located in Discovery Bay.
The emergency telephone had three locations at which it could be answered. The main fire station in Byron, the local hardware store and one of the local taverns. The radio equipment was located and controlled from the Byron Fire station.
The Byron Fire District became part of the East Diablo Fire Protection District in December of 1991.
Station 97 became Station 57 in the East Diablo Fire Protection District
Station 98 became Station 58 in the East Diablo Fire Protection District
Eastern Fire Protection District: [1946-1984]
The Eastern Fire Protection District was formed sometime before 1950 and served most of the Southern area of Contra Costa County. It went from the Alameda County border of Oakland all the way to the Vasco Road area. It had several fire stations or fire equipment storage barns or sheds, many located on private property. In 1963, the Eastern Fire District was reorganized as follows:
The Moraga Area was also called Service Area F1 as it had a special assessment as it had paid firefighters. It had one original Fire Station and then a second fire station was built in the Rheem area. It became the Moraga Fire Protection District in 1963.
The San Ramon Area had one fire station located in the garage of Bill Fereira. It became the San Ramon Fire Protection District in 1963
The Tassajara/Highland area had three fire stations located on private property. One at the Hansen Ranch located at the end of Hansen Ln. One at the old Nisson Ranch located at Tassajara Rd., & Highland Rd. One located at the Reinstein Ranch at the corner of Carneal Rd. & Highland Rd. This area became Service Area F2 in 1963
The Pittsburg-Antioch area had at three fire stations located on private property. One at the Higgins Ranch on Somersville Rd., in Antioch area. One located in the South Pittsburg area off Buchanan Rd., and one additional location was in the Deer Valley area. It became Service Area F3 & and Service Area F4.
The Avon-Waterfront area became Service Area F5
The Marsh Creek area had one fire station located at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and it remained in Eastern Fire District until it merged
East Diablo Fire Protection District: [1985-2002]
The East Diablo Fire Protection District was formed by the merger of the Eastern Fire Protection District, Marsh Creek area, and the Brentwood Fire Protection District.
In 1991, the Byron Fire Protection District was added.
The East Diablo Fire District became part of the New East Contra Costa Fire Protection District in November of 2002.
Station 51 in Marsh Creek remained Station 51
Station 52 in Brentwood remained Station 52
Station 53 in Deer Valley Road area remained Station 53 but was closed
Station 54 in Brentwood remained Station 54
Station 57 in Byron remained Station 57
Station 58 in Discovery Bay remained Station 58
Station 59 in Discovery Bay remained Station 59
Bethel Island Fire Protection District: [1947-2002]
The Bethel Island Fire District was formed in 1947. It had one fire station, built in 1951, now Station 95, located on the Island and was staffed mostly by volunteers.
Fire Chief Dave Wahl developed a Bethel Island Firefighter Paramedic program in the late 90s.
Bethel Island Fire District was dissolved and became part of the new East Contra Costa Fire District on November of 2002.
Oakley Fire Protection District: [1924-2002]
In 1924, there was a fire that destroyed the hotel and other small business buildings in Oakley. At that time, the only firefighting equipment owned by Oakley were two chemical fire extinguishers that were pulled by hand to the site of the fire and a flatbed wagon that carried about ten milk containers full of water that were used to recharge the chemical extinguishers. This equipment was purchased by the businessmen of Oakley.
After the 1924 fire, the businessmen and the townspeople decided they needed more fire protection. They had a meeting and formed a new district.
The newly formed district ran from Neroly Road and Bridgehead Road to the West, Neroly and Delta Road to the South, Byron Road and Sandmound Road to the East, and the San Joaquin River to the North. The Oakley Fire District covered the surrounding area of Oakley and Knightsen.
The first step after forming the new district was to purchase a used fire engine from Oakland. Anthony Dal Porto was appointed as the new chief, under the direction of the chief businessmen. The townspeople of Oakley all helped in fighting fires.
In 1942, a second engine was purchased with a water capacity of 350 gallons, and the first engine was given back to the Dal Porto brothers as it was of no more use for firefighting.
In 1948, a third engine was purchased with a water capacity of 500 gallons of water for Oakley and the second truck purchased was sent over to Knightsen to start another station to protect the east end of the district.
In 1953, Tony Dal Porto turned over the chief's job to Carl Gott. Chief Gott immediately formed a group of men to form a volunteer fire department so that the firemen fighting fires would have more knowledge of how to fight fires and also to care for equipment.
The first meeting was held at the home of Ray Michelotti. Nine men met there and talked about building a strong and dependable organization under the direction of Chief Carl Gott. To start the department, they had two trucks. One that had a water capacity of 350 gallons of water that was at the Knightsen station and the other with 500 gallons that was housed in the East end of the Oakley theater building, with barely enough room for the engine.
The fire meetings were held outside the building, as there was no room in the building to hold their meetings. The firemen started looking for a place to hold their meetings. In November, 1953, the Dal Porto brothers, who owned the beauty shop on Acme Street and was vacant, gave the firemen permission to hold their meetings there and to fix it up and make it more presentable.
In 1952 the Knightsen Volunteers were formed.
In July of 1957, the new firehouse was built with an office, meeting room, dormitory, bath and shower, and two bays for engines. Along with the new firehouse, Oakley also received a new 1,000 gallon capacity fire engine. This gave Oakley two engines and Knightsen one.
About 1960, a new fire station was built in Knightsen and a new 1,000 gallon pumper was also purchased to help fight fires in the eastern end of the Oakley Fire District.
In 1964, two more engine bays were added to the Oakley station along with a pickup to be used by the officers in charge of fires and to carry all emergency equipment, such as resuscitator, first aid kit, and oxygen masks so that quicker service could be rendered in emergency.
In 1971, Oakley Fire Protection District purchased a four-wheel drive fire engine with 600 gallons of water for the Oakley station.
In 1973, a four-wheel drive pickup was purchased for the Knightsen station to be used for emergency and rescue.
On June 24, 1974, Chief Carl Gott decided he had accomplished what he had set out to do. That is, to form a well-manned and trained fire department. Chief Gott served with the Oakley Volunteer Fire Department from 1941 until his retirement in June of 1974.
Chief Gott recommended that his Assistant Chief, Joe Tovar, be appointed to serve as Chief of the Oakley Fire Protection District and Manual Tovar to replace him as Assistant Chief.
Chief Joe Tovar took over as Chief of the Oakley Fire Protection District on June 24, 1974, which had two Fire Stations, four fire Engines and a pick-up. There were 25 volunteers at the Oakley Station and 18 volunteers at the Knightsen Station.
The first thing Chief Joe Tovar did as chief, was to sound the alarm at the Fire House, which was a siren on top of the building, used to alert the volunteers of a fire or emergency. He informed the volunteers that he had been appointed Chief, replacing Chief Gott, who had turned in his resignation due to health problems. Chief Tovar informed the volunteers facing the district and requested their help as the district was growing rapidly.
Prior to Chief Gott getting sick, the department had been practicing on shuttling water from hydrant to Engine, so that they would be able to pump 200 gallons per minute for 20 minutes without an interruption on the water flow. This was a requirement under the Insurance Service Office rating system, which rates all fire districts. The rating points are from 1 to 10 (1) being the best and (10) No organized Fire Department.
Oakley had a rating of (9) in the rural area where there are no hydrants. The Oakley and Knightsen station proceeded to train together for several months, to try to meet the criteria to bring the rates down for the District. On June 12, 1975, the Insurance Service Office tested us for a new rating. Chief Joe Tovar was notified that the Oakley Fire District had successfully completed the test and that the Oakley Fire Protection District had dropped from a Class 9 to a Class 8 on rural area and a Class 6 where hydrants exist.
In 1978 the district was again tested by the Insurance Service Office, for areas protected by water system which at present had a (6) Class rating. Again the firefighter's arose to the occasion and proved to the Insurance Service Office that they deserved better than a Class (6). On April of 1978, the Insurance Service Office informed Oakley that they had successfully completed the test and that the new rating was a class (9/5), applied to areas protected by water system, which again would bring a decrease in the total premiums to the citizens.
In 1982, after proposition 13 was passed, it was hard to come by money for equipment. The Fire Chief's in the county, all got together and formed a Chief's committee to disburse money collected from the state called an augmentation fund. Each Chief was to request through the committee for money that was needed for new equipment which exceeded $5,000. In 1982, Chief Joe Tovar requested for replacement of the 1942 and 1949 Chevrolet Fire Engines. The replacements were approved and in 1983, a 1250 g.p.m. Ford diesel Engine and a 1,000 g.p.m. International were purchased from Van Pelt.
The Town of Oakley started to grow and the traffic on the highway was increasing, causing more accidents. The Chief was approached by the East County Soroptimist club to see if there was anything that they could buy to help out the Fire Department, which couldn't be bought by the Fire District. Chief Tovar informed them that the district would like to have the "Jaws of Life", which was a new hydraulic tool on the market for Auto Extrication of victims trapped in vehicles and cost around $5000 and the District couldn't buy out of their small budget. The Soroptimist raised the money and donated the "Jaws of Life" to the District.
In 1985, the Chief again went to the augmentation committee and requested money for a new car to replace the car he was driving, which had been given to him by Moraga Fire District two years earlier. This was approved and an 1985 Ford Sedan was bought.
In 1988, two Blazers were purchased for the two Assistant Chiefs, as the District was growing rapidly and there was a real need for administration vehicles, since the chief's respond to all calls day and night and attend numerous meetings to keep up to the latest in fire technology.
In 1989, a 1500 g.p.m. Engine, Power Wagon, and Rescue Van were purchased through the augmentation fund. Also in 1989, the Chief's and commissioners decided they should start looking for property for another station and expansion of the existing stations, in order to keep up with the growth. One acre was purchased on Live Oak Avenue for a new station and is waiting on the growth before building the station.
In 1990, a rescue van and a power wagon were purchased for the Oakley station. In January of 1991, a 1250 g.p.m. Engine was purchased for the Knightsen station and a two bay extension was built.
[Compiled by Manual Tovar, Assistant Chief Retired of the former Oakley Fire District]
The Oakley Fire District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire District on July 1, 1994.
On July 1, 1994, the Oakley Fire Protection District was dissolved and became part of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. Station 93 & Station 94 were the Fire Stations included.
On July 1, 1999, the Oakley Fire District was recreated and removed from the Contra Costa County Fire District.
The Oakley Fire District became part of the new East Contra Costa Fire District in November of 2002.