Brooktrails Fire Department Logo






1966 – 2013


On June 16, 1966, Brooktrails Resort Improvement District entered into a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with Little Lake Fire Protection District of Willits.


On April 25, 1968, Brooktrails Resort Improvement District purchased its first Fire Engine which was a used 1948 GMC Pumper.  The purchase was made from the California Division of Forestry for $825.00.  The Brooktrails Resort Improvement District and Little Lake Fire Protection District continued the JPA agreement for fire protection.  In 1971-72 the rate was raised from $600.00 to $1,300.00 per year, and in 1972-1973 it went up to $1,500.00. 


On May 8, 1973 the first fire report was written by Fire Chief M.E. Campbell.


On June 1, 1974, Jack Cowie was appointed as Volunteer Fire Chief of the Brooktrails Fire Department.  In 1975-76 the cost for services from Little Lake F.P.D. went up to $2,770.00 and in 1978-79 it went up again to $4,000.00.


On May 15, 1978, the Brooktrails Community Services District purchased and took delivery of a 1978 Ford Attack Pumper built by Pierce.  For the 1979-80 fiscal years the cost for Little Lake F.P.D. services had gone up and up.


On June 1, 1981, the Federal Communications Commission assigned Brooktrails Fire Department a radio frequency for dispatching their equipment.  This frequency is 154.355.


On June 2, 1981, a Special Fire Tax was voted on by a 2/3 vote of the Brooktrails residents.  The Special Fire Tax is outlined in Ordinance 29, the amount to be taxed, and how the monies raised from the tax would be used solely for fire protection.  Shortly after the fire tax was voted in the first paid Fire Chief was hired on September 1, 1981.  The newly paid Chief Jerry Dysart named Jack Cowie as the Assistant Chief.  Also about the same time a new 1000 G.P.M. Pumper was ordered from Grumman.  This pumper was delivered in June 1982.  This engine was to cost the District $89,000.00.


In 1982, a Dodge 4x4 ¾ ton pickup was purchased and was used as a Squad as well as being the Fire Chief’s vehicle.  Also in 1982 the Brooktrails Firemen’s Association was formed.  They established fund raisers.


In 1984, Chief Jerry Dysart found a piece of Federal excess equipment.  This was a military 1964 White Freightliner 6x6 which was used by the military a dump truck.  This truck was cleaned up; a 1200 gallon stainless tank was installed, as well as a 500 G.P.M. pump.  Chief Dysart resigns as Chief and takes a federal job inspecting embassy buildings overseas on May 31, 1985.


On August 19, 1985, the Chief’s position for Brooktrails is taken by Fire Chief David Thomen from Little Lake Fire Protection District.  He saw a need for radical Hazard Abatement program on both private lots as well as the 2800 acres of public lands owned by Brooktrails.  Training of emergency Medical Technician 1A was started.


In 1986, the purchase of a 1986 Ford Bronco was made.  This car is to be the Chief’s vehicle.


October 1988, Brooktrails Fire Department takes delivery of a new engine.  The engine was built in Cloverdale, California by Beck Fire Apparatus.  This engine is four wheel drive has the cost of the engine is $128,000.00 and the equipment added to the apparatus cost an additional $12,000.00.


In 1989, the radical Hazard Abatement program got off to a start on private parcels.  At the same time a Vegetation Management Program is set up on the 2800 acres of public land owned by Brooktrails.


January 1, 1990, the Brooktrails Community services District leased an ambulance from Ukiah Ambulance Service.  The Brooktrails Fire Department will run the ambulance using fire department E.M.T.’s.  After six months of operation it was decided by the Board of Directors to purchase the ambulance and to continue to back up the primary ambulance provider for the greater Willits area.  The purchase was made in July 1990.  The ambulance is a 1979 Chevrolet with all the equipment ready to go.


On November 2, 1992, the District added a position to the fire department paid staff.  The title is Fire Prevention Officer.  The person hired for the position, Robert Melluish, comes from the volunteer ranks.  Robert’s main job is to inspect private parcels for hazard abatement.


In March 1994, a repeater frequency was applied for through Federal Communications Commission for the Brooktrails Fire Department dispatch frequency.  The purchase of a repeater and an agreement with California Department of Forestry to place the repeater in their vault on Laughlin Ridge all took about 2 years to complete.


November 1994, Brooktrails Fire Department purchased a 1978 International Type 3 Engine from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.  The cost of the engine to the District is $5,000.00.  It was placed into service for the 1995 fire season.  The engine will be used to respond to wildland fires within the District an s well as assisting other fire departments and forest agencies in time of need.


On December 22, 1995, Brooktrails Township C.S.D. donated the 1948 GMC (Brooktrails first Fire Engine) to the Hays Antique Truck Museum (a non-profit organization).  The Brooktrails Township Board of Directors donated this vehicle under Resolution 1995-43.


On May 28, 1996, Fire Prevention Officer Robert Melluish transferred from the Brooktrails Fire Department to the Brooktrails Water Treatment Plant as a Water Operator II.


On January 3, 1997, the Fire Prevention Officers position was filled by Daryl L. Schoeppner.  Daryl comes from a background of many years in the fire service including positions of Paramedic and Fire Chief.


On June 23, 1998, the present Ambulance (1979 Chevrolet) has been determined

To be unsafe due to some large holes that were cut in the frame which weakens it.  The Board of Directors, Brooktrails Township C.S.D. give the Fire Department the O.K. to buy a 1993 Ford Type III Wheel Coach ambulance listed for $16,000.00 in Winter Park, Florida.


On September 19, 1998, the old 1979 Chevrolet Ambulance is sold at an auction for $750.00.


November 2, 1999, Brooktrails Township puts Measure “C” on the ballot which would give the Fire Department the funds they need to continue the present staffing of Fire Chief, Fire Prevention Officer and ¾ time Office Assistant.  The measure fails with a 52% yes and 48% no vote.  This must have 66% - 2/3rds votes to pass.


Fire Chief David Thomen announced his retirement effective August 21, 2000.  On August 21, 2000 Fire Chief Dave Thomen retired from the Brooktrails Fire Department after 15 years of service.


Starting on July 1, 2001, former Fire Prevention Officer Captain Daryl L. Schoeppner was appointed the new Chief Director of Emergency Services for the Brooktrails Fire Department. The District is awarded a WUI Grant for modification of greenbelt areas.


On December 28, 2001, the Brooktrails General Manager Mike Chapman laid off the Brooktrails Fire Department Office Assistant Melody Puentes.  This lay off was do to the lack of funds for the Fire Department leaving the Fire Chief the only paid employee to handle all programs.  Melody Puentes was reinstated but limited to 20 hours a week.


The Brooktrails Board of Directors has placed Measure “Q” on the ballot March 5, 2002.  This measure would raise the fire tax from $45.00 to $65.00 for improved properties and from $25.00 to $55.00 for vacant lots. This new tax rate would help pay for such things as new training materials plus replace old personal protective clothing, radios, pagers and other much needed items. These funds will also pay for the Hazard Abatement Program and the fire departments ambulance service. The Measure “Q” ballot failed.  The vote was 56.75% yes and 43.25% no.  This tax must have 66% - 2/3rds votes to pass.


In May 2002, an Advisory Committee was formed to look into things that may help the Fire Department move forward in the future.


In July 2002, Director of Emergency Services Daryl L. Schoeppner was promoted to Fire Chief. Also Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) was awarded to the Department for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus and Personal Protective Clothing. The Department receives a donation of a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup from PG&E. This truck is placed in service as the Chief’s response vehicle. The District is awarded another WUI Grant for greenbelt modification.


July 1st, 2003 the Department discontinued its ambulance service due to funding issues. Ambulance service was provided by Ukiah Ambulance Service. The ambulance was then sold to a fire department in Oregon. Another WUI Grant was awarded for modification to the greenbelt.


December 2003, Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) was awarded to the Department, this time for a new Type I fire engine. This grant had a 5% cost share and the Engine was built by Fererra Fire Apparatus. This engine was specifically designed for the department’s needs.


June 2004, another tax measure was placed on the ballot and it passes allowing the reinstatement of a ¾ time Office Assistant and full time Fire Prevention Officer. A comprehensive Hazard Abatement Program is also developed.

October 4th, 2004 Engine 5281 was delivered to the Department. It was driven back from Louisiana by volunteers, Captain Bob Nowlin and Battalion Chief Jon Noyer.


October 12, 2004, Jon Noyer was hired as Fire Prevention Officer.  Jon comes from the volunteer ranks and has held the rank of Battalion Chief prior to his appointment. Engine 5281 was placed into service and the District purchases the Hurst “Jaws of Life” and adds it to Engine 5281’s equipment complement.


December 2004, the Department purchases a Chevy pickup truck to be used as the Chief’s response vehicle. This truck is placed in service in April of 2005.The Department also begins to develop a computer based Hazard Abatement Program and sends out notices to abate wooded parcels.


May 2005, nearly 1200 parcels are inspected and notices to abate are produced and sent to property owners using the hand held device and computer.


May 2006, the development of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) begins and holds its first meeting. The Department’s only Type III fire engine is removed service due to cost of repair and lack of parts. The Department’s Water Tender is deemed unsafe and too costly to repair and is removed from service.


March 2007, a WUI Grant and BLM Grant are awarded to the District and allows for fuels modification in the greenbelt along Ridge Road and inner greenbelts zones.


August 2007, Engine 5285 is involved in an accident and suffers moderate damage; it is decided to have the unit refurbished.


January 2008, Engine 5285 is returned to service and is updated to current N.F.P.A. standards.


October 2008, the Department receives a new 2009 Ford F-350 duty vehicle. This unit has a 125 gallon tank with pump and foam capabilities. Cost of this vehicle is $62,000.00


November 2008, the Department was awarded Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for communications equipment. This includes mobile radios, handheld radios and pagers.


July 1 2009, the Office Assistant position is reduced from ¾ time to ½ time due to budgetary constraints.


October 2010, the Department with the help of the Brooktrails Firefighters Association, purchases a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) and places it into service.


June 2012, another tax measure is placed on the ballot to maintain services at current level including the Hazard Abatement Program. This measure fails by 32 votes.


July 2012, the Office Assistant/Hazard Abatement Coordinator Leslie Stone is laid off and the Hazard Abatement Program is reduced due to failure of tax measure.


October 2012, a $56,000.00 donation from the Jack and Lois Langbehn is received and used for remodel of training room, new training materials, personal protective equipment and other miscellaneous items. The District also contributes toward new flooring and building fixes.


May 2013, Leslie Stone is hired as part-time contract labor to assist with the 1000 plus grass notices that were produced and her contract ended in September of 2013.


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Brooktrails Fire Department
24860 Birch Street, Willits CA 95490-9475

Phone (707) 459-4441
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