Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department
Established June 20, 1904

The following is the transcript from the original document regarding the formation of the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department

Fortuna Cal
June 20, 1904

A meeting was called ofthe citizens for the purpose of organizing a Fire Dept. with C.O. Willock as
chairman and F. Mills as secretary.

Moved and seconded that we proceed to organize.

Nominations then in order.

Nominations for Chief, H.P.Monroe and C.C. Lawrence. H.P. Monroe received 11 votes, C.C. Lawrence
received 9 votes

F. Mills was nominated for secretary and elected by acclimation.

Chief Monroe then took the chair.

Moved and seconded that the Department consist of two companies, Hook & Ladder Co. and Hose Co.

Adjourned fora few minutes to organize the two companies.

A.C. McArthur was elected treas. By acclimation

A committee was appointed to draft constitution and by-laws consisting of C.O. Willock, J.E. Taylor,
F. Swauger, F. Smith and A.C. McArthur.

Department adjourned until Mon. June 27.


Fortuna Fire Department

Following the adjournment, meetings were then held by both fire companies that evening. With the formation of the two fire companies came the elections of the Foremen positions (today known as Captains and Lieutenants). C.O. Willock was elected as Foreman of the Hook & Ladder Company with C.C. Lawrence being elected Foreman for the Hose Company. Interesting to note that even today, Ferndale Fire refers to their officer meetings as Foreman meetings.

In March of 1912, Hose Company #2 was organized. It is unclear as to whether this company was re-organized as the Chemical Engine Company in 1922 or if there was a 4th Company established. It is believed that the Company was re-organized due to the fact that the 3 Companies in existence today at the downtown station are still referred to as Hose Companty#1, Chemical Company #2 and Hook & Ladder Company #3.

The fire companies were comprised of up to 20 members in each company and were dedicated to performing duties assigned to their companies. The Chemical company would man the chemical carts (later becoming chemical engines), the Hose companies would supply water by utilizing hose carts (later becoming hose wagons) to lay hose from a water source to the fire and the Hook & Ladder company would bring in the ladders on the ladder truck to access upper stories of buildings. The department still has and maintains a chemical cart, 3 hose carts and a 1926 Model T hose

The department no longer has possession of a ladder cart (truck) although there is much speculation that the ladder truck seen in one of the photos had been sent to Ferndale to participate in a parade and was then put in storage at the Ferndale fairgrounds, never to be seen again as Fortuna’s Ladder Truck. Ferndale Fire however does have in possession a very similar looking unit, Hmmmm.

The Fortuna Fire Protection District was approved by taxpayers and organized as a County Fire Protection District in June of 1937. In 1957 the district expanded to include the already existing Hydesville Fire Company which then became part of the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department as Company #4. The Campton Heights fire Station was opened in 1967 which included the formation of Company #5.

Today , the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department continues the long tradition of volunteer service to its community; providing fire protection and participating in community events while promoting fire prevention throughout the Fire District.