The idea for Cherry Creek Fire Department came about in the late 1950's when there were a few house fires in the
Cherry Creek area. Cherry Creek was just finishing their new water system but had no fire protection. The most suitable
area for a fire hall in Cherry Creek is where the hall is now, in the middle of the district. Charlie Haggard thought
this a great location for a fire hall and went to the insurance companies to found out how much each homeowner would save
if the area had fire insurance. He also secured some government funding to help build the hall. He then went on to sell the
idea to the residence. The property was then purchased from the Victor Andreef family.
Photo shows Personnel from the Department with the Ford Pumper.|
The original members of Cherry Creek fire department started training in 1961. They went to the City of Port Alberni
and were taught by the members of the Port Alberni Volunteer Fire Department. The members where then certified and the
hall had its first meeting on June 26 1962. The first fire came on July 27 1962, although not much was written about the
fire. The second fire, a grass fire, did not come until August 25, 1962. In 1962 the hall had two fire trucks, the first
truck was a used 1941 Ford Pumper truck purchased from the city of Port Alberni and the second one being the first brand
new fire truck to the valley.
Photo shows the first Fire Truck in front of the Fire Hall
This truck was a 1962 American LaFrance which two members traveled to the plant to pick up
and drive back to the hall. On November 1962 eighteen members of the Cherry Creek Fire department received their certificates
from the BC Fire Marshalls for their training in firefighting. Early in 1963 the members of the department took their first aid course.
When the hall started the members were dispatched out by the city fire department. The city would activate the siren on
top of the hall (the siren is still in use today) and then start to phone some of the members. After the first truck was full the
next member that showed up would have to start phoning the rest of the members of the hall as there were no pagers at this time.
The hall had only four sets of turnout coats and boots, so those that showed up later had no gear to wear.
Charlie Haggard was the first fire chief of the Cherry Creek fire department and presided over the department until
September 1965 when he decided to step down. John Patterson became the second fire chief serving twelve years until
his retirement in 1977. The third fire chief was Tony Maten and served the department from 1977 until May, 1983.
Fourth fire chief was John Gaetz. John was instrumental in getting a new pumper for the department. The old pumper,
which was now over 25 years old, was past its useful life and according to the Fire Underwriters meant the area did not
have proper fire protection. The department had to go to a referendum to order a new one, as there was not enough reserve
money to buy a new truck, and each property owner was charged a set amount. In 1982, the brand new fire truck arrived, which
served the community until its retirement in 2010. John Gaetz retired as chief in 1988.
Gordon Porter was the fifth fire chief and served eleven years before retiring in May 1999. Gordon ordered the 1997
Freightliner front line pumper truck, which was one of the first to have a PTO Compressed Air Foam System, and is still in service today.
The sixth fire chief was Gene Jeffery serving from May 1999 until November 2004. The seventh and present fire chief is Mike Sparrow.
In late 2005 the department took on the first responder program in response to helping the needs of the residents of the area.
Cherry Creek Fire Department now responds to calls for assistance from the public in an area that stretches from the brake check at
the top of the hump to the historical Mclean Mill sawmill.
The department can have a membership of thirty members which is the maximum that is allowed by the governing body, the Water Board.
The fire hall now boasts four fire vehicles. Truck thirty one a 2010 Pierce 1250 gallon pumper that was purchased by Mike Sparrow.
Truck thirty three a Freightliner pumper truck purchased in 1997 by Gordon Porter. Truck thirty two a converted ambulance purchased
in 2001 by Gene Jeffery. Truck thirty four a Freightliner tanker truck purchased in 2005 by Mike Sparrow.
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