The Fire Department in Atascadero got its unofficial start in 1915, with a group of volunteers and one model-T Ford as a fire truck

ATASCADERO — This year celebrates Atascadero’s 100th year of Fire and Emergency Services in our beautiful city. The Fire Department started out small in 1922 but has only grown in equipment, facilities, and staff since then. And this year, we’re celebrating.

The Fire Department in Atascadero got its unofficial start in 1915, with a group of volunteers and one model-T Ford as a fire truck, where everyone was paid $1.00 a fire.

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Lee Cole, who owned his own fire truck, was pulled in during the summer months. Cole was in charge of the volunteers when he was on duty.

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1922, the Atascadero Fire Protection District was born. And in Feb of 1926, the first paid fire department in Atascadero was started. You can still find the original firehouse on Traffic Way, a block up from the new firehouse, at 5815, though now it’s used for retail purposes. 

In 2015, it was decided that ‘Fire Department’ didn’t encompass everything provided by the department, and on Sept. 7, 2016, the Fire Department was renamed Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services.

At the Feb. 22, 2022, City Council meeting Atascadero Fire Chief, Casey Bryson received a proclamation recognizing the 100-year anniversary of Fire and Emergency Services virtually.

“In recognition of the 100-year anniversary of the Atascadero Fire Protection District, now known as Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services. 

Whereas, in 1915, at the beginning of the Colony of Atascadero, a small, all-volunteer Fire Department was established to serve the newly formed community. 

And whereas, in 1922, following a disastrous 5,000-acre wildland fire near the Eagle Ranch property, the Atascadero Fire Protection District was first founded. 

And whereas the Atascadero Fire Protection District was founded as an all-volunteer force dedicated to providing the community of 3,000 residents and an area of 7 square miles with consistent fire protection services. 

And whereas on Feb. 4, 1926, the colony of Atascadero’s first paid Fire Department was established. And whereas when the city of Atascadero was incorporated in 1979. The Atascadero Fire Protection District was dissolved, and the Atascadero Fire Department became an official part of the newly incorporated city. 

And whereas the Atascadero Fire Department grew through the years from one fire station to two, and from ten to 21 paid fire personnel. 

And whereas the Atascadero Fire Department’s mission has adapted and evolved to encompass the increasingly complex needs of our growing community. Constantly striving to provide swift and excellent fire and emergency response to its citizens. 

And whereas, in 2021, Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services provided our community with professional emergency responses to 3,546 emergency calls, which included over 2,280 emergency medical calls, 22 structure fires, and 11 grass or brush fire calls. 

Now, therefore, on behalf of the City Council of the City of Atascadero and in recognition of its more than 100-years of superior fire protection, rescue, and emergency services to the community, I hereby proclaim our sincerest congratulations and appreciation to the Atascadero Fire and Emergency Services,” said Mayor Pro Tem, Heather Newsom who gave the proclamation.   

The Fire Department in Atascadero got its unofficial start in 1915