KFD History

The Knappa Fire District was formed February 23rd 1955 with the election of a five member Board of Directors and the establishment of the Fire District Boundaries. The Clatsop County Commission signed the order declaring the formation of the District on February 28th five days later.

In the early years the Fire District was comprised of approximately 12 square miles, one station, and 11 Volunteers. The District responded to an average of 12 calls for service a year.

In 1957, the Fire District embarked into the field of what is known today as Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The Fire District implemented the Svensen Highway First-Aid Station. This consisted of 7 members attaining basic first-aid certification through the American Red Cross. Some minor basic first-aid equipment was purchased and obtained through donations, and the firefighters provided basic first-aid from the fire station. Travelers through the Svensen area had to stop at the station for treatment.

In 1965, after the completion of the new Highway 30, the first-aid care was available in home. The firefighters made house calls. Mostly, it consisted of basic splinting and bandaging.

In the early 1970's, when EMS was in its early stages following the implementation by Congress of the "Emergency Medical Services Act," the Fire District received an old Ambulance donated by Astoria Fire Department. The Fire District operated this vehicle and several more that were donated as others wore out, attempting to provide some sort of first-aid service.

Today "Knappa Rescue" as it is most commonly called, operates three Rescue Vehicles and is capable of not only providing a very high level of basic life support, but has extensive extrication equipment, capability of automatic defibrillation, and EMT Intermediate and Paramedic skills.

The Fire District purchased it's first new fire engine in 1967, a Western States Front Mount 1,000 gpm/1,000 gallon tank. This vehicle served the Fire District very well for 30 years. Prior to the purchase of this vehicle the district relied on vehicles that were either donated or purchased for very small amounts.

The Fire District has undergone changes within its management structure also. In May of 1990 the District increased its tax base to fund its first career Fire Chief and in April of 1991 that person was hired. This ended a 36 year tenure of Volunteer Fire Chiefs for the district.

The Fire District has continued to grow over the years. The largest annexations occurred in 1978 with the addition of the upper Brownsmead and Fertile Valley area, in 2000 with the merger of Brownsmead, and in 2003 with the annexation of the Clifton, Bradwood, and Gnat Creek areas.

Today, the Fire District provides services with an average of 28 Volunteers and a career Fire Chief. We typically respond to about 400 calls for service annually. The District comprises of a geographic area of approximately 80 square miles with a population of roughly 3500. Geographically we are the largest Fire District in Clatsop County.