The Port Townsend Fire Department had its beginnings prior to the 1890s but its earliest official records date back to 1872. In 1890, The January 1 issue of The Morning Leader reported: “The contract has been let for a new engine house for the chemical [sic] engine and bell-tower on Tyler and Jefferson Streets. The bell tower will be 50 feet high, and it is presumed by the thinking part of the community that an electric light will be suspended from the lofty superstructure which being on the hill will shine to splendid advantage.”

Key City (Enterprise) Hose Company No. 1 began operation in a wooden station house on the back of a downtown brewery between Madison and Monroe Streets. D. H. Hill was the first fire chief who, with his volunteer firefighters, responded to fires with a horse-drawn Silsby hose cart. Key City Hose Company No. 2 was established in 1892 and operated from an “uptown” residence at the corner of Garfield and Harrison Streets. George Lake was the “driver” of the station’s hose cart that was hand-drawn by the volunteers. As many as ten men could pull the cart, and one man was quoted as saying that he “never run so fast in my life” as the time he helped pull the hose cart to a fire. A new City Hall was dedicated on July 4, 1892. Included as a part of the structure was a new fire station, complete with the traditional brass pole. The new station was equipped with an American steam fire engine. This apparatus was horse-drawn and capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute.

Bell Tower

At the suggestion of Chief Hill’s son, N.D. Hill, a bell tower and station structure was slated to be built on the bluff at the intersection of Tyler and Jefferson Streets. The unique and dynamic structure (at the time it was built), could hardly have been considered “architecture,” for the only condescension to fashion was the use of decorative brackets at the corners of the roof – but it was functional! The batter of the walls and superstructure gave a pyramidal profile to the tower. Though undoubtedly done as a bracing device to counteract the strong winds, it endowed the little tower with the structural honesty and engaging eccentricity far removed from the almost self-conscious, eclectically decorated, formal architecture of that era. This is the only bell tower of its kind in the United States today. Although no longer in service, it is nonetheless functional and still keeps watch over the city. Now, two annual tribute ceremonies consisting of a bell ringing at noon are conducted—one by East Jefferson Fire Rescue on September 11 to commemorate not only the loss of firefighters in the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York, but in memory of all firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty—and the other by Jefferson County Historical Society. Upon completion of the new fire station at City Hall in 1892, the Silsby hose cart was housed in the Bell Tower “station.”

Fire Alarm System

In October of 1889, the American Telegraph Company was given authority to erect poles and string wires—the poles to be equipped with boxes containing signaling devices for the transmission of fire alarms. In 1889, improvements in the City’s fire alarm system were made. This equipment shows the very early use of electricity in communication. One of the units, (along with the code wheel transmitter, two of the fire alarm boxes, a paper tape unit, a telephone alarm box unit and a circa-1940s original Kellog Co. street-side telephone alarm box) are currently on display at Station 1-6 on Lawrence and Harrison Streets, was granted a patent in 1868 and all equipment was designed prior to the invention of the electric motor, electric light, telephone or radio. At the time this equipment was developed, the only practical use of electricity was the telegraph, where the human hand used a telegraph key to send Morse code. Fire telegraphic alarms represent an early attempt to automate this process. Gamewell Co. “Excelsior” model street-side fire alarm boxes were installed at strategic public access locations throughout the city. By 1933, 21 such boxes were in service. Next to the box was a small case with a glass front. When a fire was detected, one would break the glass and remove a key to open the box wherein a small lever was pulled which, in turn, lifted an iron weight that furnished the energy to turn a number of gears. The gears turned a small cog with raised points acting as a telegraph key sending out a coded signal down the wire to the downtown firehouse. A Gamewell Co. “indicator unit” and “code-wheel transmitter” was also installed in the downtown firehouse. Once an alarm box signal was received, the indicator box used the signal in different ways—first to ring the attached 14-inch brass bell in a timed pattern and subsequently, this signal was decoded and the specific alarm box number was displayed clearly on the front of the indicator unit. Lastly, the decoded signal was sent to a “paper tape” unit to record the coded number. Firefighters, arriving at the fire hall after the bell had stopped, only had to look at the indicator, check the number and rush off to the location of the fire. The bell ringer unit was used to transmit to the Bell Tower the coded location of the pull-box alarm. One of the firefighters at the station would then select the number of times the bell ringer would cycle the coded signal i.e., one, two or three alarm fire and thus, the fire bell at the Bell Tower sounded the alarm all over town.

Early Growth

In 1916, the department had 25 volunteers who elected officers including a chief, a foreman, an assistant foreman and second assistant foreman. A resolution was passed that year which stated that “the elected department officers may hold their positions if called to France for active duty in the military.” That same year, firefighters reviewed “smoke masks” sent by a fire equipment company on approval, but were later sent back after having been proven unsatisfactory. Later, two U.S. Army-issue smoke masks were purchased. In 1918, the department’s truck committee reported that $547 had been saved and they discussed the costs of new fire trucks ranging from $1,830 to $2,390. In the summer of 1921, fire incident reporting began with specific orders to determine the cause of fires. In 1922, the fire chief ordered there be 12 drills per year and that firefighters would be paid 50 cents each for five drills. The foreman instructed firefighters to look after the parking of cars within 18 feet of fire hydrants and they were to prevent cars from driving over fire hose. In 1945, a new fire station was dedicated at the Lawrence and Harrison Streets location, not far from the original Hose Company No. 2 station. Staffing of the new station was by three paid, full-time firefighters until 1971, when a full-time chief and later a full-time assistant chief were hired from the ranks of the volunteer firefighter membership. Staffing remained constant until 1981 when the city added additional manpower, progressing up to nine line-personnel, two chief officers and a clerk dispatcher.

Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 1

On March 3, 1948, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners signed Resolution No. C-42 to form the first Jefferson County Fire Protection District (#1) enabling property tax monies to be levied and collected to support fire district operations. Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 1 is a junior taxing district* of the State of Washington as authorized by RCW 52.02.020. The area originally protected was in the immediate Port Hadlock and Chimacum vicinities, with the annexations of Adelma Beach, North Sandy Shore, Marrowstone Island and a portion of the Eaglemount area south of Anderson Lake Road following through the years. In 2004, Fire District No. 1 was approached by Jefferson County Fire District No. 6 to discuss a possible consolidation/merger. The citizens were strongly in favor of a merger and 88.6 percent voted in favor of Proposition 1 in the November 2005 election. The city of Port Townsend consolidated with both Districts in January 2006 to bring the three formerly separate districts together as East Jefferson Fire Rescue.

The interlocal agreement for joint operation and management of fire services between Port Townsend and Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 (East Jefferson Fire Rescue); included a joint oversight board; term is for 3 years beginning January 1, 2006, and continued thereafter until 2019.

*A junior taxing district means a taxing district other than the state, a county, a county road district, a city, a town, a port district, or a public utility district.

Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 6

According to Margaret Franzen, a member of the District Auxiliary and eventually District Secretary, Ed Wainwright was the person who initiated the action to form a local fire protection district. An article from the first Cape George newsletter in the fall of 1968 mentioned his hard work in trying to form a fire district from Chevy Chase to the Port Townsend city limits. Petitions were circulated and delivered, but apparently frustrations began to mount as the petitions were allegedly mislaid and found not be located. Years passed and in 1974, a new petition drive began. On April 7, 1975, the Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 6 was established by popular vote—171-11. At that time, the first three fire commissioners were also elected: Ed Wainwright, Lee Stark and John Kanaar. At the first organizational meeting on May 8, 1975, Virgil See** was appointed Fire Chief and Margaret Franzen was appointed District Secretary. They both served without pay for five years. In 1975, the Cape George Colony Club leased a heavily wooded lot on County Road 40 to the new fire district for a period of fifty years at an annual rental of $1. Under the direction of construction coordinator Cliff Lamkey, volunteer workers began clearing the site in September of 1975. Despite an occasional blown transformer, innumerable cuts and bruises and broken fingernails, men and women, working together finally cleared the area. Because the district was formed after the county tax money had been budgeted, the commissioners had to take out a $10,000 coupon warrant and depend on monetary gifts the first year. Everyone contributed time, labor and money. Unfortunately, there are few records of those donations. The work on the new fire station began in May and continued through August of 1976. The Board of Commissioners held their first meeting in the new fire hall on Nov. 6, 1976. The new district soon had 26 volunteers (seven left fairly soon leaving 19 volunteers). The volunteers were mainly young men with families who had fulltime jobs. Then, as now, the commitment made by the men and women volunteers who gave up their spare time for training classes and drills and response to fire and aid calls is recognized as a great contribution to everyone in the community. By 1979, two modest substations had been completed to provide a more rapid response with equipment to all areas of the district. One of the stations was located on Jacob Miller Road and the other at the entrance to the airport. Additional pumpers and tanker trucks were also acquired. By the spring of 1986, it became apparent that the district needed an addition to the Cape George fire hall. On May 9, 1987, a two-level addition was dedicated to the memory of Ed Wainwright who had passed away. Arne Carlson carved the wooden sign “Wainwright Hall,” and donated it to the new addition.

**Virgil See passed away on Dec. 20, 2007.

The next big change didn’t come until 1999 when Station 62 (now known as the Henry Miller Station or Station 1-5, photo left) was built on Jacob Miller Road next to the solid waste transfer station.

Margaret Franzen wrote that many people helped to shape the district over the years. While not everyone was named, Ms. Franzen noted that Virgil See retired as chief in 1991 after serving for 16 years. Bob Larson became the next chief and served for approximately 10 years before retiring.

Margaret Franzen retired in 1985 and was succeeded by Kathy Johnson who served until 1988. Doris Fuller was then appointed and served the district until 2000 when she retired. The Fire District Auxiliary was a big support for the fire district. Started by some of the same women who helped clear the brush from the first building site, the auxiliary endured for 20 years. Presidents of the auxiliary over the years included Gloria Barnard, Jackie Tripp, Mona Caraugh, Marge Denne, Eva Burnham and Margaret Franzen. The Auxiliary provided critical support for the budding agency through fundraising for firefighting equipment, purchasing turnouts, radios, medical equipment and various other items for the volunteers. Bazaars, spaghetti dinners, raffles and bingo were some of the events sponsored by the group. Over the years, the Auxiliary raised $72,000 for the district.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue Today

In early 2019 Jefferson County FPD #1 Annexed the City of Port Townsend to the Fire District after nearly ten years of providing Fire and Life Safety services to the city residents via Interlocal Agreement.

Later in 2019 the residents of the district voted to expand the Board of Commissioners from three to five and create five Commissioner Districts.

2021 was a huge year of growth for EJFR. Chief Bret Black joined the team in December 2020 and quickly facilitated the hire of EJFR’s first Medical Services Officer (MSO), Tammy Ridgway, and promotion of three Lieutenants to the rank of Battalion Chief—Paramedics Jason MacDonald, Justin Clouse and Firefighter Justin Fletcher.


In May of 2021, East Jefferson Fire Rescue began providing management services to Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue after both departments commissioner boards decided to develop a plan leading to a merger of the two districts.

In November of 2022, Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue voters approved a merger with East Jefferson Fire Rescue with an 87.6 percent favorable vote. The merger became official on January 1, 2023. During a March 2023 board meeting, commissioners voted on the new five districts based on population using 2020 U.S. census data, rather than geographical size.


In December of 2022, EJFR received funding to establish a fire-based co-responder program—Community Assistance Referral and Education Services referred to as CARES—from the Association of Washington Cities together with help from the City of Port Townsend. The program in Jefferson County is modeled after the Poulsbo Fire Department’s CARES program.

The program is intended to identify individuals with recurring needs who frequently call 911 or the emergency department for non-emergency or non-urgent reasons. Referrals will be made by the fire department to the CARES program staff who can help residents by providing resources while reducing repeated use of the 911 system and reduction in emergency room trips.

The CARES program Specialist for Jefferson County is Paramedic Jeff Woods who has been with EJFR for over 20 years. His assistant, Lee Ann Peterson, is a civilian contractor trained and certified in multiple fields to include behavioral/mental health, substance abuse and senior services with experience serving vulnerable populations. The CARES team is currently based in Port Ludlow and serves all of east Jefferson County.

Asst. Chief Brummel—Chief Training Officer

In May 2023, the Center for Public Safety Excellence together with East Jefferson Fire Rescue announced that EJFR Assistant Chief Pete Brummel had been awarded the professional designation of Chief Training Officer (CTO).

The Commission on Professional Credentialing awards the designation only after an individual successfully meets all the organization’s stringent criteria. Achieving this designation signifies Assistant Chief Brummel’s career commitment to the fire and emergency services.

EJFR Assets and Personnel 

In August 2023, EJFR employed 72 paid staff, 41 volunteers and 8 resident volunteers. The District at that time was equipped with nine engines, one ladder truck, three water tenders, twelve ambulances, three utility vehicles, three brush trucks, three marine units, one technical rescue trailer and eight staff vehicles.

Contributing writers: Tom Aumock, Chuck Boggs and Margaret Franzen. Compiled by former EJFR PIO Keppie Keplinger.


East Jefferson Fire Rescue provides more than just fire engines when you need them. We provide emergency medical response, fire suppression, technical rescue, marine services and a whole lot more.  Under the federal response model this is referred to as ‘all hazards response’

These response activities require highly trained individuals to provide these services.   Many factors drive the training that your firefighters receive, from insurance industry training guidelines, to Washington State Firefighter Safety standards for training proficiency and other ongoing certification training.

Under the all hazards response envelope, EJFR provides to its community the following services: 

EJFR training includes training for emergency medical incidents including ALS and BLS response, fire response to homes, commercial buildings  industrial complexes, urban interface / wildland fires and marine fires, fire investigation inspection and prevention, automobile accident extrication, technical rescue for trench collapse, high angle rope rescue, confined space, heavy machinery entrapment,  hazardous materials spills and releases,  marine surface water rescues, and fire command officer training including current tactical operations.

Firefighter Training

Standards of Accreditation

EJFR has adopted the “International Fire Service Accreditation Congress” certification program under the Washington State Fire Protection Bureau.

All of our career firefighters are certified at minimum as ‘IFSAC Firefighter 1’ meeting the requirements of NFPA 1001 “Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications.”

Every volunteer firefighter is either certified IFSAC FF1 or Washington State Firefighter 1.

Additionally all of our fire officers (lieutenant or higher) are certified IFSAC Fire Officer 1 or higher.

By having your firefighters and fire officers certified as firefighters and fire officers, they have proven that they can perform to a specified level as established by an accredited review board in the discipline of firefighting, hazardous materials operations and fire command and management.

Firefighting Operations

This division manages day-to-day activities of the fire department’s response to calls for service that originate via 911 or walk-in to the fire station.

When you see fire engines and ambulances responding to a call, there is science behind the response. Jefferson County utilizes its own 911 call center called JeffCom.

There, trained dispatchers process the 911 call for type of need, location and other pertinent information. From there the dispatcher utilizes Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software that recommends particular fire and emergency medical apparatus to respond to the incident. This recommendation has been designed by the fire department operations division.

Utilizing the United States Fire Administration fire flow calculation model and staffing criteria, the response recommendation is designed to the address of the specific call.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Training

Because approximately eight out of every 10 calls we respond to are EMS-related, medical training is a high priority.

Our department offers an EMT class one to two times per year, which is recognized by Washington State and and enables graduates to take the state EMT exam for certification.

Our EMT’s and Paramedics have opportunities to learn from local physicians, with recent class subjects ranging from scuba diving medical emergencies to pandemic influenza.

We also receive training through the Medic One program at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Besides lectures we have many hands on opportunities for maintaining our practical medical skills. Backboarding, splinting, practicing IV’s and CPR are a regular part of our training program. We also continually practice and train for Multiple Casualty Incidents.

2020 Northwest Region EMS Protocols

Training for Special Operations

When people experience an unusual emergency and don’t know who else to call, the fire department usually is brought in to address the situation. As a result, EJFR regularly trains for a variety of special operations.

On several occasions, people and dogs have fallen off the bluffs of Ft. Worden State Park, necessitating high-angle rescues. These types of rescues involve advanced rope skills in a team environment. EJFR regularly trains for high-angle rescues in anticipation of future incidents.

Enclosed space training is also a regular event at EJFR. During this type of training, firefighers must modify their methods of transporting personal protective equipment in order to make passage through the confined spaces.

Officer Development

EJFR has adopted the “International Fire Service Accreditation Congress” certification program under the Washington State Fire Protection Bureau.

Our career Fire Officers at minimum are certified as ‘IFSAC Fire Officer 1,” meeting the requirements of NFPA 1021 “Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications.”

In the adoption of IFSAC certifications, the Department Fire Officers must pass educational elements which are required before appointment to Lieutenant. All Fire Officers also have continuing educational requirements as established by local, state and federal regulations.

The process for a firefighter to become a Fire Officer within EJFR is a multi-step process that establishes a foundation for the Fire Officer. EJFR Verifies the Fire Officer foundation through first step IFSAC certification at Fire Officer 1. Along with the certification, the Officer candidate completes an “Acting in Position Task Book” equivalent to the NWCG (National Wildfire Coordination Group) and NIMS (National Incident Management System) which validates skills and applied tasks through direct mentorship and evaluations by senior officers within the organization.

EJFR offers officer development courses that address Incident Management, Personnel Management, Finance, Operations and Fire Prevention. Additionally, monthly tactical training utilizing table top and video simulations are mandatory for EJFR Fire Officers.

EJFR Fire Officers are highly trained professionals providing leadership, management, and supervision to a highly trained response force who respond 24/7 to the needs of the community.

Training Donations

Contact: (360) 385-2626

We always welcome the donation of old vehicles so we can use them in our training exercises.

We also value the donation of building materials, especially 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood. We use construction materials in our fire training in ways ranging from breaking through walls to chainsawing ventilation holes in a roof. If you have some materials to donate call us at (360) 385-2626 and we’ll arrange to pick them up.

House Burn Donations

Through your house donation we are able to provide internal and external training exercises that will either establish new operational methodologies or enhance current practices.

East Jefferson Fire Rescue has three options available to structure owners for the use of the buildings being offered:
1. Non-destructive training
2. Destructive training
3. Destructive training with live fire

In option # 1, East Jefferson Fire Rescue would use your structure for training with the emphasis in non-destructive training methods. i.e. general search and rescue, thermal imaging.

In option # 2, East Jefferson Fire Rescue would use your structure in coordination with your demolition contractor to facilitate destructive training. This would include wall breaches, roof ventilation, building collapse exercises. At the end of the prescribed training the building would be demolished by a permitted contractor.

In option # 3, East Jefferson Fire Rescue would use your structure for destructive training with the end of the project to cumulate in a live fire exercise.

Contact: training@ejfr.org

Emergency Medical Services

EMS Response & Inter-facility Transports

Medical calls make up approximately 74% of what we do at EJFR. We are staffed 24 hours a day to provide a critical link in the “Chain of Survival” for sick or injured patients. The three staffed stations in EJFR’s district ensure that citizens receive quality emergency care within minutes of calling 911.

Fire Departments have provided EMS services since the Middle Ages. The symbol of the fire service, the Maltese Cross, originates from the Knights of Malta, who helped treat burn victims from battles during the Crusades.

Today this legacy continues as every firefighter at East Jefferson Fire Rescue is also certified as also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic. Our Paramedics bring the emergency room to you in a pre-hospital setting and can administer many drugs and medical tests to help treat your emergency before you get to the emergency room in the hospital. This time-saving is vital for treatment of trauma, cardiac and stroke care when every minute of intervention counts towards improving long- term outcomes.

If a patient needs more advanced care than Jefferson Healthcare can provide, our personnel transport patients to the best facility prescribed for the patient’s condition. It is not unusual for our department to initiate multiple transports to Seattle on a daily basis to a larger, more specialized hospitals like Harborview, Swedish or Virginia Mason.

Since March of 2019 we have designated a transport ambulance with advanced life support equipment specifically designed for long ground transports. EJFR hired three single-role paramedics and three single-role EMT’s to handle the daily transports out of the area. This inter-facility transport unit helps to ensure that adequate staffing remains in the district for local emergencies.

Some medical emergencies require the rapid transport that can only be provided by a helicopter flight. Our department sets up landing zones and fire protection for these landings at the hospital, airport and in field locations throughout our district depending on the location of the patient.

Medic One

As a proud partner with the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center’s Medic One program, East Jefferson Fire Rescue benefits from the opportunity to send our paramedic students to one of the premier training programs in the U.S.

Founded in the late 1960’s, Medic One was the product of several Seattle visionaries, Gordon Vickery, Chief of the Seattle Fire Department, and Dr. Leonard A. Cobb, a University of Washington cardiologist. Initially focused on bringing advanced life support system to the homes of heart attack victims to improve their chances of survival, the Medic One program introduced the concept that non-physicians could provide high-quality care with remote physician guidance—and save lives.

Today, Medic One’s response system of 911, medical dispatch, basic life support, and paramedic advanced life support enjoys an international reputation for innovation and excellence in pre-hospital emergency care. This quality of care depends on the continuing collaboration of several resources, including Harborview Medical Center, the University of Washington, the Medic One Foundation and the enthusiastic participation by regional fire departments, including East Jefferson Fire Rescue.

The year-long, 2,500 hour Medic One training program is intense and thorough—most medic trainees have an average of 200 patient contacts before receiving their certification. The Medic One trainee has 800 patient contacts.

According to Dr. Michael K. Copass, former Medical Director of Seattle Medic One and Director of the Medic One Paramedic Training Program, the program is the model for much of the world. “We regularly host visitors from Australia, Poland, the UK, Brazil, Chile, Italy, Switzerland, France and many other countries.”

Dr. Copass said the goal of Medic One training is to take young EMT’s and teach them how to think like doctors in certain situations. “It’s like building an old Porsche, by hand. The Medic One Foundation allows for this finely crafted, handmade program. And the results speak for themselves.”

Privacy Policy

Although the majority of our operating expenses are financed through property tax revenue, EJFR also receives income from the transportation of patients, both to hospitals and between hospitals.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.  The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections. 

The HIPAA privacy rule precludes us from releasing the names of our patients—to the press, to inquiring parties, or to anyone else without the express written consent of the patient or their designated legal representative.

More information on our privacy policies.

Jefferson County EMS Protocols

Regional Protocols – December 2020

History of Emergency Medical Services

Early accounts for consideration of emergency medical services date back to the summer of 1918 when an ambulance fund was established for contribution to the Seattle Fire Department ambulance fund. The advent of a structured public emergency medical service in the city of Port Townsend had its formal beginning in the late 1970s within the fire department by providing initial emergency response with an engine company using a resuscitator for heart attacks and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation needs. Firefighters and police officers were trained in first aid and CPR.

Actual patient transport was conducted by a private ambulance service operated from Carroll’s Mortuary using a hearse. Cascade Ambulance Company was formed by three firefighters in 1960 after refurbishing a 1958 Cadillac ambulance resurrected from a wrecking yard. The ambulance company changed ownership a few times until 1970 when it closed. Olympic Ambulance Service stationed an ambulance in Port Townsend shortly thereafter with little success. Homer Smith Insurance Agency of Port Townsend donated a van-style used ambulance to the city in 1980. By then, the fire department lieutenants had been formally trained and certified by the state as emergency medical technicians. In the following years, new firefighter hires were required to be certified emergency medical technicians as well as firefighters.

The city entered into contract with two county fire agencies—District No. 1 and No. 6—to provide ambulance transport service to the local hospital since there were no other ambulances available for county transport.

Jefferson General Hospital had an emergency room but arriving emergency medical technicians would present their patient/s to hospital floor nurses who would not be able to provide definitive care and treatment until the on-duty doctor arrived from the local clinic or from home. It was not until 1988 that the hospital added a new emergency wing, staffing the department with full-time nurses and physicians and becoming licensed as a Level IV trauma care facility. Emergency medical services delivery as a formal function of the Port Townsend Fire Department was now following the national trend of primary service being provided by fire departments.

The department bought its first ambulance (new, Type III) in 1981 and a second ambulance in 1982; in 1991 and 1997 respectively, diesel-powered replacement ambulances were purchased, and the 1980s models were placed in reserve status. In 1990, the city hired its first paramedic firefighter to provide advanced life support medical services for its citizens. Five additional hires in years following provided at least one paramedic on duty at all times. As with most, if not all fire districts, Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 1 started out as an entirely volunteer agency, hiring its first full-time firefighter/EMT in August of 1996. Dubbed the Medic 13 program, (representing District No.1 and their partner, Port Ludlow’s District No. 3), during the first five months of its existence, per diem paramedic personnel were utilized, followed by the hiring of three full-time firefighter/paramedics in November of 1997.

In December of 1997, District No. 1 hired its first full-time fire chief, and in October of 1998, a second full-time firefighter/EMT was hired followed by a third in August of 1999. In 2000, the citizens voted for a perpetual tax levy dedicated to the delivery of emergency medical services by the fire department. Calls for service rose steadily from 470 total alarms in 1983 to 1,337 alarms in 1999 (of which 1,070 were medical calls). In 2007, East Jefferson Fire Rescue responded to 3,079. In 2013, EJFR was toned for 3,616 total calls.

In August of 2007, a contract for inter-facilities transport between East Jefferson Fire Rescue and Jefferson Healthcare was signed by both parties. In 2006, prior to signing an official agreement, EJFR logged 1,450 transports. In 2007, that number jumped to 1,698. In May of 2008, the district hired Assistant Chief Gordon Pomeroy to head up the EMS program.

In 2021 EJFR hired their first Medical Services Officer (MSO), Paramedic Tammy Ridgway. MSO Ridgway oversees the emergency medical services (EMS) program for the District. This includes emergency medical response, supplies and equipment, infection/exposure control, and EMS related instruction, teaching, training such as case review, quality control, EMS related content and evaluations. The EJFR MSO works closely with The Jefferson County EMS Council and Medical Program Director to deliver quality services to our community.

Apparatus & Stations

Ambulances and Engines

EJFR’s primary, or ‘first-out’ fire engines feature a maximum water-flow capacity of 1,500 gallons per minute and contain an internal 750 gallon tank.

Fire Stations

Station 1 (Staffed) 701 Harrison Street, Port Townsend, WA  98368

Ladder 1

Engine 1

Medic 1

Aid 1

Marine 1

Utility 1

Station 2 (Staffed) 35 Critter Lane. Port Townsend, WA  98368

Engine 2

Medic 2

Brush 2

Aid 2

Marine 2 

Utility 2

Station 3 (Unstaffed) 3850 Cape George Rd. Port Townsend WA  98368

Engine 3

Antique Engine: 1941 Chevrolet Pumper

Station 4 (Unstaffed) 50 Airport Road,  Jefferson County Municipal Airport

Engine 4

Tender 4

Air/Support Truck 4

Station 5 (Unstaffed) 6633 Flagler Rd., (Marrowstone Island) Nordland WA  98358

Engine 5

Aid 5

Tender 5

Antique Engine: 1955 Ford

Station 6 (Staffed) 9193 Rhody Drive, Chimacum WA 98325

Engine 6

Tender 6

Medic 6

Aid 6

Brush 6

Battalion 11, 12, 13 & 14

Station 7 (Staffed) 7650 Oak Bay Rd, Port Ludlow WA 98365

Engine 7

Tender 7

Medic 7

Rescue 7

Brush 7

Marine 7

Investigation Task Force Truck

Station 8 (Staffed) 101 South Point Rd, Port Ludlow WA  98365

Engine 8

Aid 8

Station 9 (Unstaffed) 121 West Alder St, Port Ludlow WA 98365



Marine Program

EJFR’s marine program, headed up by Assistant Chief Brian Tracer, is responsible for an extensive geographical area including Port Townsend Bay, the Admiralty Inlet, the waters around Marrowstone Island and Naval Magazine Indian Island, Protection Island and the northern half of Discovery Bay.

Our Marine program consists of a highly trained team of rescue swimmers, operators and marine trained EMT’s and Paramedics. East Jefferson is surrounded by frigid Pacific water on three sides and we have many boat assists, man overboard and aid calls on boats moored in our area. Our 33′ fire boat, Guardian, is moored in the Port of Port Townsend.

Marine 1 ‘GUARDIAN

Marine 1

Marine 1, Guardian, was purchased in 2011 using a Department of Homeland Security Port Security grant. The boat uses a 330 HP Kodiak 5.7 engine to provide marine firefighting capability. The American Turbine Jet pump can achieve volumes of 1,250 gallons per minute at 125 PSI out of the bow-located Task Force Tips Hurricane fire monitor. It can also produce 3,000 gallons per minute at 50 PSI to feed a land-based fire engine with unlimited amounts of sea water in the event of a waterfront fire.

Through a unique diverter just aft of the pump engine, water can be diverted from the firefighting plumbing to an exit at the stern of the craft, providing forward thrust to achieve speeds of approximately 8 knots. This allows boat operators to turn off the outboards and safely maneuver to pick up victims in the water. The boat is equipped with a full electronics package, including a Forward-Looking Infrared Camera (FLIR) mounted on the roof. This improves operators’ ability to locate vessels and people in the water in low-light conditions. Inside the cabin is a full-length patient casualty bench which allows treatment of patients while underway.


Marine 7

Marine 7

Marine 7 was received in 2016 from North Kitsap Fire Rescue (NKFR) through an inter-local agreement when they received a new boat through a DHS Port Security Grant.  Manufactured in 2001 by Lifetimer, the 29 foot Marine 7 is powered by a 375 HP Yanmar Diesel in-board with a Kodiak 403 jet drive propulsion unit. This allows for superior maneuverability and near shore operations with the unit able to be beached for shore access and has a top speed of 27 knots. An enclosed cabin with the ability for a full-length patient casualty bench allows for treatment of patients while underway. Firefighting capability is by a deck mounted Darley fire pump rated for a 380 gallons per minute.

The primary response area is from the Hood Canal along the Coyle Peninsula north to Squamish Harbor, Bywater Bay and the waters off of Hoods Head. It also serves Paradise Bay, Ludlow Bay, Mats Mats Bay, and Oak Bay to the waters south of Naval Magazine Indian Island and Marrowstone Island.  Through our mutual aid partnership with NKFR, when requested, Marine 7 provides first due response to the waters of Port Gamble, and the areas of Hansville and Foulweather Bluff.


Fire Prevention Bureau

Public Education

In-School Education

EJFR’s cadre of Public Education Specialists provide fire and life safety programs to children at public and private schools throughout the region. Smaller kids learn “Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll” and “Get low and go!” Bigger kids learn to develop emergency exit plans in case of fire and how to check for risks and dangers at home.

Fire Extinguisher Training

EJFR Provides free fire extinguisher training for groups. The training consists of a brief presentation, followed by a brochure-based overview and optional hands-on training with our fire extinguisher training prop. This prop utilizes water and compressed air rather than standard extinguisher retardant to reduce the impact on our environment. Contact our Administrative offices to schedule training for your small group.

Car Seat Checks

The Department provides free car seat safety inspections from one of our three qualified technicians. The inspections include education and coaching for expectant and new parents as well as for other caregivers. Each inspection takes 20-30 minutes. Be sure to bring your car owner’s manual, the car seat manual and the appropriate child, if possible.

Firewise Communities

Using the nationally renowned Firewise Communities program materials, EJFR offers wildland fire mitigation education for neighborhoods in the District. This program explains how to reduce the risk of wildland fires and subsequent damage to homes through pre-planning and proper landscaping around the home.

To schedule any of these programs please contact Emily @ (360) 385-2626


Assistant Chief Brian Tracer leads a multi-agency Fire Investigation Task Force, consisting of representatives from several fire districts, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Port Townsend Police Department.

The Task Force investigates the cause of all fires within the District.

Community Resources

Jefferson County Emergency Resources

General Area Resources

Statewide and Nationwide Resources