The Redwood Coast Fire Protection District was formed by special election in 1997. Prior to the formation the small incorporated city of Point Arena (population less than 500) was served by one volunteer fire department; the immediately surrounding rural area, population approximately 2,000, was served by a different volunteer fire company. The combined District now provides service to over 250 square miles of rural Mendocino County coastal area including service to the two square mile city of Point Arena and two Point Arena/Manchester Band of Pomo Indians reservations including a 10,000 square foot casino.
Today the firefighting force consists of a Fire Chief who is paid a monthly stipend and 23 Volunteers. Our year-round population is approximately 2,500 people, but that number swells dramatically during holidays, summertime, and fishing or surf related events. The Fire District operates units out of three stations: Point Arena, Manchester, and Irish Beach.
The Fire District’s service area presents a unique firefighting challenge. Contained within the District’s boundaries is the first on-shore portion of the California Coastal National Monument; the AT&T Point Arena Cable station – one of the termination points for trans-Pacific cables coming from Hawaii; and a mix of wildland interface, residential, agricultural, timber, and commercial use buildings. Services provided by the Fire District include fire prevention, fire suppression, hazardous materials response, rescue services, and emergency medical response.
The Fire District is governed by a five-member Board of Directors and is administered by the Fire Chief. The Fire District’s Volunteer force provides a dedicated and efficient firefighting and emergency response group for District residents. The Volunteers continually upgrade their firefighting and emergency response training to ensure competent delivery of emergency services to the citizens within its jurisdiction.
Our budget is lean at $160,000; 80% of the budget is spent on essentials such as insurance, utilities, fuel, and equipment maintenance; 12% is reserved for capital acquisitions.