The history of Heber-Overgaard Fire Department.
As you can see our Fire Department, comes from a very humble beginning. Feb. 1, 1971, the local Sheriff’s Posse formed a committee to promote the construction of a Fire Department for the Heber/Overgaard area. George Hollingsworth and Frank Grey headed up this committee. By March of the same year some land was secured for the location of the new Fire Department. The land would be next to Holiday Forest next to the Water Co. A road approached from Hwy 260 would have to be put in. Next plans on how to raise money were put into play. The committee decided to make ads for the Department, as well as send out letters to the local homeowners, regarding a minimum donation of $10. Pictures of the fire from Zane’s Steak House were used in the promotions. By August of 1971, new permits were obtained for the road approach, and plans were drawn up for the Fire Station by Dave Yarn. January of 1972, road approach construction slowed down due to weather. February of 1972, the Sheriff Posse folded due to some of its members moving out of the area. Plans for the Fire Station had to be placed on hold. By the first part of 1973, the newly formed American Legion Post 86 took over the task of forming a Fire Department, and Fire District for the area. Ivan Wilson was the Chairman of this committee with the assistance of Bob Settle. They were able to obtain the signatures necessary to have an election called to form a Fire District. Hal Yates of the American Legion, with the help of the County Attorney, put together a petition that he used to approach the County Board of Supervisors, to propose the formation of a Fire District. The American Legion put up the necessary funds to have an election. On June 4, 1973, by unanimous vote, the Heber/Overgaard Fire Dist. was established. It had an area of 102 square miles. On June 14th, Ivan Wilson was elected as the first Fire Chief of the new District and Larry Rhodes as the Secretary-Treasurer. Walt Downs and John Shaffery Sr. were the first two men to sign up as Firefighters.
Some of our first members.
June 21, 1973, a meeting was held to get more Firefighters. 17 more men signed up that night. By July, Chief Wilson started proceedings to obtain the title to the land that Brad Watts of Holiday Forest had set aside for a Fire Station. By September of 1973, a bid was secured from Butler Buildings for a metal building in the amount of $10,536.04. This price included the labor and materials for the construction of the building. It was to be built on a foundation that was done by Zane Parham.
First Fire Truck
By April of 1974, the building was completed. At the same time the Fire Department purchased its first fire truck, a 1947 Studebaker with two pumps: A centrifugal pump and a high pressure pump. The truck was purchased from the Holbrook Fire Department for the price of $3,000. It was on its second motor but only had 5,000 miles on it. With this truck the department was able to save three mobile homes.