Sunriver Fire Department History

The Sunriver Fire Department was established in 1968 by the Sunriver Resort Corporation and homeowners. The fire department was formed out of the need for structure and natural ground cover protection. The fire department was lead by Herbert “Junior” Kappel as the first Fire Chief. During this year, the fire department purchased its first fire pumper which was a new Western States engine. The first set of volunteers where recruited and trained to the basic firefighter level by members of the City of Bend Fire Department. January 16, 1969 the department received its first emergency call for a forklift on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished.
In 1970 the fire department purchased an additional fire engine from the San Jose California Fire Department. This 1945 American LaFrance was designated as a second out engine. Sometime around this era the fire department combined with the Sunriver Emergency Medical Service into one agency. In 1972 a 1958 Ford station wagon was purchased to be a medical response vehicle. This vehicle was replaced in 1974 with a 1972 Dodge ½ ton van. In 1975 a new Ford pickup was purchased to be used as a Fire Chief vehicle as well as a light brush engine. Three years later a new Chevy Blazer was purchased to be a replacement for the medical response vehicle. In 1979 the department took delivery of a new Seagrave structural fire engine which in turn replaced the 1945 engine.