The Breitenbush Fire Department began operation in April of 2005 as a part of the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center north of Detroit, Oregon along the Breitenbush River. During the fall of 2006 a newly-formed board began meeting, representing both the Breitenbush and adjacent summer homes communities. The goal, to provide first response fire protection, search and rescue, and emergency medical services for this remote area, working in conjunction with other area agencies. Today the Breitenbush Fire Department commonly known as the 'BFD' is a non-profit 501c3 organization with a board of directors representing the two communities.
The BFD operates in an area which includes the hot springs retreat and conference center and its 60 member community, 72 summer homes on U.S. Forest Service leased properties, two U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds and 300 dispersed campsites, and the southern part of forest service road 46 between Detroit and Estacada.
The Breitenbush Fire Department is comprised of members of the two communities we serve. Duties may include initial response to structure and wildland fires, search and rescue missions on the extensive local trail system on USFS lands, motor vehicle accidents, river rescues, and medical incidents.
There are 6 board members, 3 representing each community who make up the board of directors. A fire chief, administrative captain, 2 fire captains and a Search and Rescue Team (SAR) leader provide leadership. The BFD maintains 10-12 firefighters and the same number of SAR Team members, all volunteers. Last but certainly not least, the BFD is blessed with 2-3 mechanics who volunteer their time and skills, driving from afar regularly to maintain our three vehicles and keep them operating safely.
All new firefighters attend a three day 'Rookie School' where they gain their basic structural firefighting training with most going on to train in wildland firefighting as well. Personnel train monthly in firefighting and rescue skills and are fully equipped with personal protective gear thanks to the generosity of the Oregon Volunteer Firefighter's Association and other regional fire departments.
The department responds with three vehicles - a rescue squad, 4WD wildland patrol, and a structural fire engine.
As of 2013 both the BFD's firehouses became fully operational, both structures being constructed completely from generous donations.
For more information and photos on the firehouse projects go to our stations and vehicles page.