Official Formation of Elk Grove Fire District
In 1925, citizens saw the need for increased fire protection and
decided to form the Elk Grove Fire District, a tax-supported agency
covering approximately 100 square miles which included the communities
of Elk Grove, Sheldon, Franklin, and Point Pleasant. A 54-13 public vote
resulted in the District’s formation. The Sacramento County Board of
Supervisors officially declared the District formed on July 6, 1925.
first commissioners were Andrew Elliott, W.E. Everson, and W.S. Ajax.
J.D. “Del” Cann was appointed as Fire Chief and Frank Everson as the
Assistant Chief. Chief Cann is remembered for wearing a large western
hat and always having a gun on his hip.
Equipment Purchased 1925 - 1940
Additional equipment was purchased and placed into service between the years of 1925 and 1940, including an American-LaFrance chemical fire engine, a 1928 Moreland fire engine, a 1934 Ford fire engine, and a used 1927 Chevrolet pumper. The District served an estimated 3,000 citizens during these years. A second station was added in the Franklin area around 1928 and a third station in Sheldon around 1930.
First Full-Time Paid Fire Chief
In July 1940, Elk Grove Fire District became the first District in Sacramento County to employ a full-time paid Fire Chief. William Perry Schulze was appointed to that position.
Continued Improvements After 1940
Improvements in the Fire Department continued as the District purchased property at 9044 Elk Grove Boulevard and moved the corrugated iron building which housed two of the engines to that site in 1943. A dwelling already on site of the property was used as the Fire Chief’s residence. The old hose tower was dismantled and the fire bell was moved to the new site. Instead of the fire bell, volunteer firemen were called to duty by a large electric siren mounted on the town water tank. The siren was activated by operators from the office of the telephone company. Volunteers were made up of local business owners including carpenter Jim Kunz, Sr., George Beitzel, a hop farmer, Cliff Angell of Angell’s Hardware, George Entrican, owner of Entrican’s Grocery, Henry Warren, owner of Warren’s Shoe Store, and dairymen Chalmers “Buck” Gage and John Zehnder.
1947 Van Pelt Fire Engine
No additional changes were made to the District’s inventory of equipment until the end of World War II. In 1947, a new Van Pelt fire engine was purchased. Among the latest design at the time, the Van Pelt featured a high-pressure, 500 gallon per minute fire pump. The engine was used as the basis for future apparatus orders.