History of Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue
The current Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue is an amalgamation of several smaller fire departments, including Dillon, Dillon Valley, Frisco, Silverthorne and Snake River that merged and consolidated over the years.
In 1971, the Dillon Valley Metropolitan District specifically added fire protection to its duties and built the station on Deer Path Road. The metro district purchased the hydrants from Denver Water, and they opened backwards, which caused some fire extinguishing issues. Daryl Potts was the first paid chief/water operator, followed by NAME Jordon, then Francis Winston, who later became the first Chief of the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.
In 1973, the Frisco Fire Protection District was formed, and the first station was where the information center is at Third Avenue and Main Street. In 1975, a new station was built on South Third Avenue, where the Frisco Community Center stands. In 1980, a bond was passed, and a new station was built in 1981 at 301 S. Eighth Ave. and is still in use today as LDFR Station 2. Prior to this, Frisco had a volunteer fire department but maintained few history records. We do know that snowplow drivers and others were used as firefighters, and air-raid sirens and phone trees were used as notification methods. At one point, the drivetrain broke on the old fire engine – but the pump still worked – and a tow truck was used to pull it to a fire at Tiger Run, sirens wailing at about 10 mph. The first paid chief was NAME Gafert in 1978.
In 1974, the Silverthorne Fire Protection District was formed, and a station was built at 401 Blue River Parkway that still is in use today as LDFR Station 10. There are no records we know of about any organized fire protection prior to then.
In the 1970’s fire protection in Keystone area was provided by the Dillon Valley Volunteer Fire Department. Sometime about 1976, fire protection was provided by Keystone Ski Resort, owned by Rolston-Purina, which purchased its first new engine in 1978.
In 1981, the Snake River Fire Protection District was formed, and Dave Parmley was hired as the first and only chief. The department had 30 volunteer firefighters and officers, plus a paid staff of 14, including a chief, assistant chief, two captains, two lieutenants, two fire inspectors and a training officer, working out of three fire stations. The budget in 2004 was $1.5 million, and the department handled nearly 700 calls annually.
In 1984, the Dillon Fire Protection District was formed as a volunteer fire department. The Dillon Town Hall housed the fire department until a new volunteer station at 225 Lake Dillon Drive was built in 1985 and, following renovations in 2002, is still is in use today as LDFR Station 8. At one time, DFPD housed an engine at the Lake Dillon Theater Company across the street from Station 8. A 1942 Sterling engine was given to the Town of Dillon, and in those days, if it wouldn’t start by the bottom of Buffalo Drive, they weren’t going to be able to use it at the fire.
In 1989, Dillon and Dillon Valley merged as the Dillon Fire Authority.
In 1993, Dillon, Dillon Valley and Silverthorne merged as the Lake Dillon Fire Authority.
In 1995, Frisco joined the Lake Dillon Fire Authority.
In 1998, voters passed a ballot measure to consolidate into one governmental district, the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.
Snake River Fire subsequently joined the Lake Dillon Fire Authority in 2005 and, after voter approval, became part of Lake Dillon Fire Protection District in May 2006.
Today, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue is a fully professional, career fire department, with 58 full-time staff members operating and supporting three 24/7 response stations, as well as an administrative station in Silverthorne and two auxiliary stations.
- Type 1 Pumpers: 5
- Aerial Tower
- Type 3 Pumper
- Type 6 wildland engines: 2
- Tender – 1,500-gallon
- Pumper/Tender 1200 gallon
- Haz Mat Vehicle
- Air/Light Trailer
- Trench Rescue Trailer
- Command Vehicle – Bat 8
- Fire Investigation Van
- Staff/Support Vehicles: 12
Population: Approximately 17,500 permanent, 60,000 seasonal capacity
Lake Dillon Fire Protection District area: Approximately 111.64 square miles
Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue response area, including portions of Summit County outside the LDFPD boundaries: 421 square miles
2013 Total Calls: 2,229
2013 Fire calls: 43, or 2 percent of call volume
2013 EMS calls: 1,021, or 46 percent of call volume
Annual budget: $7 million