The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. provides fire protection and EMS response to an area of approximately 50 square miles and a population around 14,000. Established by several local homesteaders in 1952, the CVFD presently has a fire service area that extends from the Knik River bridge on the New Glenn Highway in the north, to the North Eagle River overpass and access road to the south, and is bordered by the Cook Inlet to the west and the Chugach State Park and Chugach Mountains to the east.
The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. service area provides for a mix of suburban and rural fire protection needs. Residential property makes up the majority of structures within this service area. However, also included in the response area are light industrial and commercial occupancies, a light aircraft airport, a large senior center, three elementary schools, one middle school, high school and several long-term care facilities for the elderly. Many lakes, streams and outdoor recreational areas, along with all forms of vegetation found in Southcentral Alaska, provide for a unique setting for fire protection and EMS response.
Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. responds to nearly 900 emergency calls per year. Seventy five to eighty percent of emergency responses are of a medical nature. True structure fires are infrequent due to the relative young age of structures within the community and an active fire prevention program.
The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. is comprised of members from all walks of life and is purely volunteer. There are several classifications of members within the department including: responders, dispatchers, juniors, auxiliaries, and affiliates. Presently there are about 90-100 volunteers.
The fire department is divided into four crews, each with a captain and lieutenant. Each crew is assigned to respond for one entire week during a four-week rotation, from 1830 to 0630 hours on the weekdays and all 48 hours of the weekend. Weekdays between 0630 and 1830 have no assigned crews. Department members who are able to respond to these calls as well as affiliates who staff one of the stations respond during these hours.
Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. has five stations within the service area, and each station has a history behind it.
Station 31 (Latimer): Named after Max Latimer, who was the original chief of the department founded in 1952. The building originally was a wooden shed with a balky door. More than once, unable to get the door raised when the alarm sounded, apparatus drivers went right through the door. The original front-line engine was a 1942 Ford pumper. The building eventually was remodeled into a four-bay station sometime before 1969. The second floor classroom, kitchen, office and bathrooms were added in the early 1980s. The new four-bay wing was added in the mid 1990s. In recent years, we have added sleeping quarters, a day room, and have also remodeled both the kitchen and bathrooms.
Station 32 (Gilmore): Named after Cliff Gilmore, who was chief in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The original structure was only two bays, built in the early 1970s on land belonging to the Birchwood Community Club. It had a more modern 1947 Ford pumper. Two larger bays and a bathroom were added in the late 1970s.
Station 33 (Hill): Named after Linda Hill, an EMT killed in a car accident on her way to an EMT class in the early 1970s. The building was erected in the mid-1970s on land donated by the Wallace brothers, Art and Til.
Station 34 (Wallace): Named after the Wallace brothers, Art and Til. Art was active in the fire department for more than 30 years and was a character known far and wide for his love of spraying water and his distaste for anything connected to Anchorage. The building was constructed in the late 1970s with a legislative grant that decreed we share the building with the state Department of Transportation.
Station 35 (Lowe): Named after O.W. "Bill" Lowe who served more than 20 years on the Board of Supervisors before he was killed in a car crash to which CVFD responded. During the heavy snow fall of 2012 the old station was damaged beyond repair, and had to be demolished. The new building was finished in the summer of 2014.