• History of Trinity Center VFD

    May 27, 2019 | TCVDF
  • 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Trinity Center Volunteer Fire Department. With the relocation of Trinity Center from under the lake to its current site, the need for fire protection became evident after the Freethy Gulch fire of 1959.

    In 1961, Trinity County created the Trinity Center Community Services District to provide a variety of services to the new community. The first service undertaken by the new district was the creation of a Volunteer Fire Department. Today the district thrives providing fire protection, emergency medical services, and street lighting.

    But in 1961, the fledgling department had to obtain equipment, volunteers and a place to park the equipment. The first fire chief was J.D. Guice who began the efforts to build a capable department. Dick Hamilton was elected Assistant Chief.

    Guice and Hamilton purchased an old USFS garage for $35 that was moved from old Trinity Center and placed on a lot next to the IOOF Hall. The garage housed a 1947 Ford fire truck purchased from the Cottonwood Fire Department and many residents stepped up to be department volunteers.

    In 1965, John Root was elected fire chief, but resigned the next year. Dick Hamilton was unanimously elected chief in 1966 and served as chief until 2007.

    Preliminary groundwork was started for a new fire hall in the spring of 1971. The VFD had outgrown the old, two-car garage. Ed Scott donated the property and many local volunteers donated time, expertise, money, and materials to build the new hall. The department moved into the current fire hall in 1972. As a community effort, built entirely with donations and volunteer labor, the district owns the fire hall debt free, and no special assessments or taxes were required to fund it.

  • The early 1970s predated the sheriff’s radio dispatch service in the north county and fire department members were summoned for emergency responses by special telephones in ten firefighters’ homes. When the emergency number was dialed, all ten phones would ring.

    Over the years, the department has had varying staff sizes, sometimes over twenty volunteers were on the roster. In lean times, as few as six members were active. The department is always looking for community-minded volunteers willing to serve either as firefighters or emergency medical responders, or both. Today, the department has nine active members, including a paramedic.

    Under current Chief Bob Bryant, the department is a full service fire/rescue/EMS agency providing emergency services to the entire North Lake area from Cedar Stock to Coffee Creek VFD’s district. Trinity Center and Coffee Creek VFDs respond together on all North Lake calls.

    The department operates four fire engines and an ambulance. Emergency dispatch occurs through the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, the county 911 center. Volunteers carry pagers that can be reached anywhere within range of the radio repeaters.