The fire service has grown from an insurance based fire protection focus in the late 1700’s to a modernized complex organization that serves communities throughout the world. During the late 1800s The city of Walla Walla formed its fire department, and in the 1940’s citizens of the County and the town of College Place decided that they too needed and wanted their own fire protection services. Since that time the area departments have made several changes, we now include EMS, Hazardous Materials, Rescue, Confined Space, and Low and High angle rescue to the long list of emergency type responses.
The Past Few Years
Over the past few years, the demands for service have been increasing countywide. To meet these challenges agencies have thought of ways to improve services while still being financially responsible to their taxpayers. Several of the departments have higher support staff to allow their volunteers to focus on their responses and trainings while the paid staff takes care of the daily operations. College Place is one of those communities. We currently have a paid staff of three. These three individuals provide the administrative support that our growing department needs.
Leaders now look at creative ways to provide services. Regionalization and joint cooperation is how EMS and Fire services are changing on a national level. In the County, boundary lines are being dropped and agencies are working closer and closer together, where we had struggled in the past. Change is occurring within our agencies, and will continue to change as voters continue to want more for fewer taxes. This is an exciting time and yet a time of uncertainty.