Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire & Rescue, started in 1962, was originally called the Loma Prieta Civil Defense Fire Team. The property on Old Summit (17445 Old Summit Road) was a swamp for sale, making it affordable to purchase. All materials and labor were donated. Originally, the equipment was military surplus until the mid 1970’s when the California Department of Forestry (CDF) under contract to Santa Cruz County Fire took on the volunteer fire department. CDF upgraded some of the equipment and gear and continues to train the department with up to date information and techniques.
LPVFR is one of eight volunteer companies in Santa Cruz County Fire. In 1997, the community lost the station due to fire. With the help of insurance, Santa Cruz County and the community, they were able to rebuild the station and purchase new equipment. Annual operating supplies are purchased with a combination of county funds, individual donations and the proceeds from our annual fundraising event, the Firefighters Barbecue, held each year on the first Sunday of June.
LPVFR has approx. twenty members and they are always looking for more. They enjoy providing public education and speak at the local preschool and grade school. They also support local events with first aid coverage. Most members are EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians) equipped with medical trauma bags and oxygen that they carry at all times. There are also driver/operators, meaning they have a Class B license and related training to drive the fire engines. Many hold amateur radio licenses. Volunteers are dispersed throughout the area and respond from their homes in their private vehicles to the call or to the station to pick up fire engines. Often, due to proximity, volunteers arrive to provide medical aid before fire apparatus or ambulance. You can find out more about the department on their Web site: www.lomaprietafire.org.
Station 36 (Loma Prieta)
17445 Old Summit Road.
3 bay station with Office and Ready Room.
- Rescue 3661
- Engine 3621
Station 47 (Burrell)
20250 Highland Way
3 bay station with Office, Barracks and Mess.
- Engine 3622
- Engine 1768 (CDF)
- Water Tender 3651
Station 48 (Summit Woods)
Old San Jose Road
1 bay station.
- Attack 3641
LPVFR has a 2200-gallon watertender housed at the Burrell Fire Station on Highland Way supporting other engines with water during fires. It’s thirty feet long and weighs twenty tons. They also have Engines 3621 and 3622, Rescue 3661 and Attack 3641.
The engines respond primarily to fires in structures, vegetation and automobiles. They may also respond as additional resources to other incidents. They hold 500 gallons of water and are equipped with foam, a better fire protectant for threatened structures, vegetation and vehicle fires because it penetrates better than water.
Rescue 3661 is specialized for medical aid calls and vehicle accidents. It is equipped with gear for over-the-side rescues, auto extrication and medical emergencies. Based on a Ford F450, it was built to specifications to meet the needs of our response area.
Attack 3641 is a four-wheel drive vehicle that carries a small amount of water, medical gear and tools. It contains a specialized foam system (called CAFS - for Compressed Air Foam System) that makes it a very efficient in terms of water use and needs.
Engine 1768, a four wheel drive engine owned and operated by Cal Fire, responds from Burrell Station.
Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue responds to all 911 calls in our response area 24 hours a day. We cover a 25-square mile area. Our territory includes Loma Prieta Ridge (Summit Road) from Mt. Bache to the Bear Creek/Araki Road area. On Highway 17, we respond from Summit Road South to Laurel Curve. We cover down Old San Jose/Soquel Road as far as Enchanted Valley. We have also responded as part of an OES Strike Team to major wildfires as far away as Los Angeles and Sonora in the Sierras.
We respond to about 500 calls per year.
All engines are equipped with defibrillators. Due to the remote nature of our area, we often need air ambulances. Multiple landing sites are available throughout the area.
We respond, train and work closely with firefighters from Burrell station, and are included in the mutual response area with Scotts Valley Fire Department, Santa Cruz County Central Fire Protection District and Santa Clara County Fire Department in Redwood Estates. During the summer, an additional Cal Fire stations on San Jose/Soquel Road also supports our area.
Funding & Volunteers
Funding for the team comes from two sources. A part of your property tax payment funds the County Fire Department, whose job it is to ensure that all areas are covered with basic protection.
The volunteer team raises additional income through grants, matching fund proposals and fundraising activities to improve the level of service. All monies generated by volunteer efforts go directly into the maintenance of our stations and equipment.
But we need more than equipment. We need volunteers. Maintaining a force large enough to respond day in and day out is not easy. Not everybody can respond at all times. In order for a modern volunteer force to survive, it requires a balance between young career bound firefighters and those who have their roots deep in the community. The paradox is that those who have the most free time to devote often move on into paid duty, thus shifting the weight to those with full time employment and family obligations. Prospective volunteers should consider the investment in training.
On the plus side, volunteers enjoy tremendous satisfaction. Gaining the knowledge required and putting it to use to benefit your neighbors and community leads to substantial fulfillment. Nobody ever leaves the team because they don’t like the mission. Those who are interested in taking the leap should visit http://www.lomaprietafire.org/home/join-the-team for more info.
LPVFR welcomes all prospective volunteers, male and female. You must live in the response area and be at least 18 years of age. There are a series of classes and training you must attend to be able to respond on calls. All required training is available through Cal Fire, which will put you through a volunteer academy, first responder (medical) training, safety orientation, hazardous materials and confined space training. There is no cost for the training.
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