About

Our History

The Burbank-Paradise Fire District was formed in late 1942.  World War two had started and the people of what would later become the fire district realized that they had no fire protection.  Fire Warden Ozzie Ball worked with the residents of the proposed district.  After several meetings the fire district was organized.

There was no money available for operation of the district until after the District’s property tax assessment was collected.  Two business men in the district, Hugh Young and Raymond McCormick purchased a used 1939 Dodge truck from P.E. VanPelt in Oakdale, California.  The two men used that truck as a chassis to build the districts first fire engine.  This engine was a 250 gallon per minute, front-mount pumper which carried 400 gallons of water in its tank.  When completed this engine was housed at Hugh Young’s service station on Paradise Road.

In 1943 the first fire house was built in the 1500 block of Vernon Avenue. This building (which had a dirt floor) was just large enough to house the districts one engine.  At the time the Modesto Fire Department dispatched calls for the District.  An old crank telephone was under a cabinet, members had to get down on their knees in order to operate it.  There was a district phone line to a crank phone in our station.  When the phone rang the station siren sounded.  The first person there answered the phone and received the location of the call.

The firefighters held monthly meetings in their homes.  The wives furnished refreshments.  Members paid one dollar a month dues.  In 1948 we moved to our present location at 1313 Beverly Drive.  Members then had access to a club room and kitchen.  Except for a brief quartering in the vacant gasoline station at Paradise & Carpenter (while our station was being remodeled) we have remained at this address to this day.

A short time later the district purchased our second engine, a 1948 G.M.C. 350 gallon per minute pumper with a 400 gallon water tank.  This was quite the upgrade and very well received by the members.  In 1954 we purchased our third engine, a G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper with 750 gallon water tank.  The district had to cut another door in the station in order to accommodate this engine.

In 1966 the old Dodge (deemed Old Betsy by members) was nearing the end of it’s life.  The district replaced this engine with a 1966 G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper.  The district sold the old Dodge to Greely Hill Fire District.  It was very hard for members to let it go.  In 1976 the 1954 G.M.C. was sold to a lumber company in Fresno County.  This pumper was eventually replaced with a 1976 International 1000 gallon pumper.

In 1988 the district purchased a used 1981 1000 gallon pumper from the American River Fire District as well as a used G.M.C. “mini-pumper” from Fairfield Fire Department.

** Work in progress, more historical information on the way! **

History of Burbank-Paradise Fire District
1942

Established

In a special election a proposal to form a new rural fire protection area known as the Burbank-Paradise District passed.

1948

Moved to our current location

Relocated the station from Vernon Ave to Beverly Drive.

1948

Purchased our Second Truck

1948 G.M.C. 350 gallon per minute pumper with a 400 gallon water tank.

1954

Purchased our Third Truck

GMC 750 gallon per minute pumper with a 750 gallon water tank

1966

Replaced our first engine

We replaced our old Dodge (Old Betsy) with a 1966 G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper.

1976

Replaced the 1954 pumper

We replaced the 1954 pumper with a 1976 International 1000 gallon pumper

1988

Purchased a used 1981 pumper

We purchased a used 1981 1000 gallon pumper and a "mini-pumper"

2105

Work in progress

Expect more landmark historical information in the near future.

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