August 25, 2021

09/1975    A petition was signed by the voters to form a Cougar-area Fire District.

03/1976    A special election was held for the formation of the Fire District. It did not pass, the requirement of 60% of the people that voted in the last election was not met.
Although the levy failed, the commissioners were elected.Travis Bennet, George Ham, and Jack Kelley held the first offices.

11/1976    The second election for the formation passed.

01/1977    The official beginning of Cowlitz County Fire Protection District #7.
The members called themselves the “Yale Valley Fire Department”
        The District’s west boundary was the Speelyai Bay Road.
        The east boundary was the Cowlitz/Skamania Border.
        The first officers were:    Secretary - Konny Martin
                                            Assistant Chief - Clarence “Rocky” Meyers
                                            Chief - Mike Livingston

1980        We joined the Volunteer Firefighters Relief and Pension fund.

1982        Station #1, our first station, was built at 11670 Lewis River Road
Prior to this, equipment was kept at private homes, and in a single garage in Cougar owned by the Lewis River Telephone Company.

1984        Station #2 was built in Cougar at 16728 Lewis River Road.

1986        The area from Speelyai Bay Road to mile post 42.5 on Hwy 503 was petitioned for annexation.

1987        The current west end of our District was annexed into the District.

1989        Station #3 was built in the new annexed area at 8020 Lewis River Road.

1996        Our Fire District, North Country EMS, and PacifiCorp worked together to put Station #4 in at the intersection of Yale Bridge Road, Cresap Bay Road, and Frasier Road: 1258 Yale Bridge Road. One of the houses that was located at PacifiCorp’s Yale Village was moved to the site for the use of North Country EMS. A three bay garage was constructed to house two District #7 fire apparatus and one North Country EMS Vehicle.

1996        We purchased a one year old demo unit from The Mallory Company, Squad 71, for fire and  medical response.

1998        The area in Skamania County, from the Cowlitz/Skamania border to mile post 5 on the USFS Road 90, and the same distance east on the USFS 10 Road on the south side of Swift Reservoir,  was annexed into the District.

10/1998    The District’s name was changed to “Cowlitz-Skamania County Fire Protection District #7".

2001        Three truck bays and a new training room were added to Station #1.

2001        A 2000 Freightliner, our first new fire truck, was purchased - Engine 71.

2004        A 2004 Ford F350 was purchased and made into Rescue 71.

2005        The District’s first paid person was hired, part time Chief, Gary Stuart

2005        A 1994 truck was purchased, and a 3500 gallon tank was mounted on it to become Tender 73.

2005        The District’s legal name was shortened to “Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District #7"

2006        We purchased a 2001 truck and had a 3500 gallon tank mounted on it to become Tender72

2007        The District received a grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (FEMA) for $226.000 for all new SCBA, and a compressor to refill them.

2007        We purchased a new 2007 Freightliner Engine - Engine 73

2008        A 2008 Ford F150 crew cab was purchased for personnel transport.

2008        A newly purchased 1987 American General truck was outfitted to be Brush 71

2008        Squad 71's slip-in-unit was upgraded to the latest CAFS model.

2010        The Fire Protection Class of the District was changed from a 9 to an 8.

2010        A third truck bay was added to Station #2.

2010        Our Web Page was developed

03/2011    Chief Gary Stuart was changed from part-time to full-time.

2011        We received a second Thermal Imaging camera through a grant at Region IV Homeland Security.

2012        Two new Quick Attack fire trucks were ordered from W.S. Darley. Expected delivery is in May 2013.

2012        Due to Federal narrow banding regulations, we had to purchase 28 new portable radios.

2012        Two 10,000 gallon tanks were placed behind Station #1. They are set up to provide access to 20,000 gallons of water to refill our engines and tenders.

2013        Two new Quick Attack engines were received to replace aging apparatus. These are both 2012 Ford F550 chassis with Darley 1,000 g.p.m. pumps and Darley CAFS. They were built by W.S. Darley in Wisconsin.

2013        Our  EMS response was expanded to include and ALS program. There are three paramedics that live in our response area, and are volunteers for us. We began this program to take advantage of their advanced skills and certification. We now have the capability to offer advanced care in Cardiac and Respiratory issues.

2014        Rather than selling our old 1995 Squad, we turned it into a type 6 brush truck to be housed at Station #4 at Cresap Bay.

2014        Woodland School District had the trees surrounding Station #1 logged.

2015        Ductless Heat Pumps were installed at Station #1 for both the Training Room and Meeting Room. They were also installed in the Office/Kitchen at Station #2.

2015-16         The District received a grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (FEMA) for $71,000 for structure gear. This grant allowed us to purchase much needed new turnout coats, pants, gloves, nomex hoods and boots.

2016          The District purchased a 2017 Ford Explorer for the Chief to respond in. With this, the Chief, or his delegated Officer can respond to calls much quicker.

2017           Station #3 at 8020 Lewis River Road was broken into and about $18,000 worth of fire equipment was stolen. None of it has been recovered. Our insurance company paid for replacing all the equipment stolen.

2017            Because of the theft at Station #3, motion activated cameras were placed at all four District #7 stations.

2018             A radio was placed in the Speelyai Tower building and tied to Yacolt Mountain on Fire Com so we could have better communication with our dispatch.

2019             A 2003 Truck was purchased and made into a tender to match our other two tenders, and to replace our 1973 International tender.

2021            We ordered a 2022 Ford 550 from W.S. Darley to be made into a brush truck. This is to replace the 1995 brush truck we have owned since 1996. We are expecting delivery sometime in early 2022.

District Fire Chiefs:    Mike Livingston; 01/1977 to 03/1978
                                  Dick Slayton; 03/1978 to 08/1980
                                  Jack Kelley; 08/1980 to 02/1981
                                  Sandra Autry; 02/1981 to 08/1981
                                  Don Stuart;  12/1981 to 12/2004
                                  Gary Stuart; 1/2005 to 12/31/2022


Commissioners:    Travis Bennet
                              George Ham
                              Jack Kelley
                              Don Platt
                              Bill Wheeler
                              Sandra Katka
                              Dave Birch
                              Ken King
                              Mike Conroy
                              Mark Hayes
                              Arnie Osmanberg
                              Ilene Black
                              Paul Kuper
                              Don Stuart
                              Mike Rietman
                              Walt Black
                              Denny Parkhill

Secretaries:        Konny Martin
                           Alice Merkle
                           Joanne Southwick
                           Kay Swindoll
                           Mary Rice
                           Judy Orloske
                           Mary Pleasants
                           Gary Stuart