Led by Fire Chief Dustin Morrow
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Fire Chief here at Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. I could not be more humbled with the opportunity I have been given to work with some of the most talented fire service professionals within the state.
I started my fire service journey in 1986 with the Sunriver Fire Department as a Volunteer Firefighter and finished my Oregon fire service career in 2016 as the Deputy Fire Chief of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. After spending nearly three years as the Fire Chief with Pierce County Fire District #16, I am excited to lead the great women and men of Central Pierce.
Along this journey, I also made stops with the Rosemont Rural Fire Protection District and the City of West Linn Fire Department. The 30-year span went by quickly. Fortunately, I started very early in the fire service which allows me to continue on with the great organization I am with today.
I have taken steps to make sure that I have a broad mix of experiences, certifications, and education, including an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and I am very close to having my Master’s Degree in Leadership.
I have also made sure that I have a broad professional network, both in and out of the fire service, so that I can stay current with industry mandates and trends. I am a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs – Western Division, Washington Fire Chiefs Association, National Fire Protection Association, and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association.
Having a strong presence and connection to the community is important to me. Not only will you see me interacting and giving back to the community, but you will see my wife and boys doing the same. I have many plans for the Fire District, but for now, I will remain focused on our mission of responding effectively, continuing to improve, and serving with compassion.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue (also known as Pierce County Fire District 6) was formed in 1996, following a merger of Fire District 6 (Parkland/Midland), Fire District 7 (Spanaway) and Fire District 9 (Summit/South Hill). In 2009, Central Pierce grew to include the City of Puyallup through annexation and the community of North Puyallup through a merger. These mergers have provided for more efficient and effective service to the communities that now make up Central Pierce Fire & Rescue.
The District provides 24-hour emergency medical and fire suppression protection to approximately 212,068 citizens and covers an 84 square mile area encompassing the communities of Parkland, Midland, Spanaway, South Hill, Puyallup, Summit and Frederickson.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue (CPF&R) operates twelve fire stations, all of which are staffed 24 hours a day by career personnel. Eight of our stations house paramedic units to provide emergency medical services (both basic and advanced life support) and transport patients to emergency care centers.
In addition to fire suppression and emergency medical services, CPF&R also provides hazardous materials response and technical rescue services. Technical rescue involves any situation where life is in danger (drowning, climbing accident, building collapse, etc.).
CPF&R also provides training and information to the public on fire and injury prevention, CPR, first aid, fire extinguisher usage and other safety related topics. The District provides free smoke alarms (with installation) and low-cost bicycle and multi-sport helmets to the community.
Our Vision Statement
- Dedicated to internal and external customer service
- Committed to professional development
- Innovative and adaptable
- Determined to meet or exceed industry best practices
- Supporting of a culture of health, wellness, and safety
- Committed to systems and processes that are consistent and provide accountability
- Financially sustainable
Our Mission Statement
Effectively respond, continuously improve, compassionately serve. We, the members, proudly serve our community with honor, courage and commitment. This is the standard by which we live.
Learn More About Central Pierce Fire & Rescue
For many years, rural areas of Pierce County did without fire protection. Some communities had a little shed filled with buckets; some had a hose cart and a hand Pumper. When an occasional fire occurred, the whole Community would pitch in and form a bucket brigade to extinguish the fire.
In 1922, a fire erupted at Bock’s grocery store in Spanaway. With a strong wind blowing hard the fire soon became unmanageable so the Tacoma Fire Department was called. By the time Engine Co. 2 and Engine Co. 11 arrived, a large portion of the town was gone. Using water drafted from Spanaway Lake, the rest of the town was saved by the two engine companies.
In 1939, Washington State House bill number 81 was introduced and passed. Chapter 34 of this bill became Title 52, which established for the first time fire protection districts in the state of Washington for unincorporated communities and rural areas. In a short time, petitions were drawn up and signed to incorporate areas into fire districts. The petition was then reviewed by the County Commissioners for approval. One of the first petitions in Pierce County was the area of Parkland.
This area included all of Parkland and Brookdale, parts of Spanaway and Midland. However, when the measure went for a vote on February 21st 1941 the citizens voted it down. This first vote in Parkland may have failed because in the summer of 1940 Spanaway had already formed a fire department, funded by donations, dances, and card parties.
In Early 1942, Midland had the idea of putting together a Fire Department. Rather than go as a taxing district, the leaders of the organization decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization funded by donations and dances, similar to what Spanaway was doing. This organization became official In September of 1942. The original name was for the three communities it would serve Harvard, Midland, and Larchmont (H M & L).
In 1942, the nation was deep in war on two fronts, the European and Pacific theater. Most people were not thinking of fire department Incorporation at that time. However, by May of 1944, Leading Men of the Parkland Community, following the Midland example, formed the Parkland Volunteer Fire Department as an incorporated non-profit organization. In a couple of years, these departments had proved to their respective communities that they were there to stay and to serve the public in a professional manner. Both H M & L Fire Department (Midland) and Parkland Volunteer Fire Department return to their citizens with a petition to incorporate into a tax-supported Fire Protection District.
In Midland the citizens voted on April 20th 1945 with an astounding 112 to 0 vote to tax themselves for fire protection. As a result Pierce County Fire Protection District Number 4 was created on May 7th 1945 with the Pierce County Commissioners signed resolution #1856. Within a year, on February 16th 1946 the Parkland area residents voted 362 to 5 to become a fire district. District #6 became official on March 5th 1946 under Pierce County resolution #2069.
In Spanaway, a group formed to petition the citizens to incorporate into a fire district. When the citizens of Elk Plain heard this, they also wanted to be a part of it. Within months of Parkland becoming a fire district, citizens of Spanaway along with Elk Plain voted on April 27th 1946. Passing with 237 voles to 5, the Spanaway/Elk Plain fire department became official on April 30th 1946 with County resolution #2132 as Pierce County Fire Protection District Number 7.
The formation of these three fire departments set the stage for the communities to the east to see the benefits of a public supported fire department. By April 17th 1948 these communities were also voting on their own fire department measure adopting the name Summit, Woodland, Collins Fire Department. District Number 9 citizens voted on April 17th and became official under resolution #2809 on April 20th 1948. The citizen vote was not as overwhelming as the other three districts, with a final vote tally of 2814 and 119 votes against the measure.
From the very start of the formation of these fire districts, mergers seem to always be talked about, but never seriously considered. Each district with their respective community or communities had its own pride and values. It was frightening for the districts and their communities to think of losing the memory of times past and quite possibly their Community identity if they were to merge with another fire department.
In June of 1958, the Pierce County Commissioners discussed placing a bill before the vote of the people to consolidate all Pierce County Fire Districts into one large district. This large Pierce County Fire District would naturally fall under the direct supervision and control of the County Commissioners. Most of the fire districts were well-established departments and would have nothing to do with the proposal and fought against it. Instead, the individual departments all came together to sign Mutual Aid agreements, both to satisfy the County Commissioners and to be in compliance with the Volunteer Relief and Pension Act. With a mutual aid agreement between both districts, firefighters would be covered by the Volunteer Relief and Pension Act if they happen to cross lines.
The start of the mergers:
Talks of merger began with administrators from District 4, 6, 7, 9, and 21 all came together. The first meeting took place soon after the January 1st 1990 functional consolidation of District #4, Midland and District Number 6, Parkland. The following year, Midland merged with Parkland after the September 17th 1991 vote, when Midland citizens passed the measure by 76%. By November 1991, District Number 21 Graham dropped out of the merger talks.
In 1992, the three standing districts, District Number 6, Midland/Parkland District Number 7, Spanaway/Elk Plain and District Number 9, Summit/South Hill, consolidated their training with a very favorable outcome. The collective training proved to be good with an overall cost reduction to the three districts. The following year, the three districts consolidated their administration and appointed Chief Williams from Summit/South Hill as the overall new Executive Director.
In August of 1993 a contest was held to name the new Fire Department. All fire department Personnel were asked to submit a name for the new Department. After help from the local service clubs in the different areas, the list was reduced to 10 final names. These names were voted on by the fire department members. The individual who submitted the winning name was Captain Doug Willis. However, it seems it was a group effort by Doug Willis, Jim Parmalee, Dan Beckman, and Kevin Rhone. These individuals had the honor of naming Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. By January of 1994, Central Pierce Fire Fighters were working together as one Department versus three departments. For a merger vote to take place, the timing had to coincide with taxes being paid by the citizens of the separate taxing districts. The three districts had to come in line so that the citizens were paying nearly the same taxes. In the latter part of 1995, the time had arrived, for District Number 7 and District Number 9 to submitted petitions to merge with District Number 6. For numerous reasons, District Number 6 was chosen to be the surviving district. On February 15th 1996 the citizens of District Number 7 and District Number 9 voted to merge with District Number 6 to unify the department as one and establish themselves as Central Pierce Fire & Rescue.
The next merger was 13 years later when a long time Puyallup City Fire Department with a long and great history became part of Central Pierce.
On November 4th 2008 voters in both Central Pierce and the City of Puyallup voted to approve the annexation of Puyallup into Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. With a passing vote in both jurisdictions, the City of Puyallup Fire officially became part of Central Pierce. This was on January 1st 2009.
The Puyallup Fire Department has a long-standing history of its own. In 1890 shortly after the City of Puyallup was incorporated, one of the first actions of the newly-elected mayor Ezra Meeker appointed a committee to handle the city’s necessities. One of these necessities was the city’s protection from fire. Unfortunately for the city, the fire department was not established until after the big fire of September 17th 1890 when much of the town was destroyed. From this sad event the roots of the fire department were formed, and it has been growing since, helping neighboring communities by providing fire protection or by assisting in establishing their own fire department.
Like most American fire departments of this time of 1890, the Puyallup Fire Department was an all-volunteer department, beginning with 25 men. The first station, better known as the Fire Barn, was located at Main and Rainier. Rainier is now 2nd Street Southeast on the north of the tracks. At this station, the fireman would sponsor various events to raise money to procure needed items such as uniforms. By 1930 a poor report from the insurance and Rating Bureau led the city to hire a full-time Chief. In 1931 the city hired A. J. Mac McCarthy and with the new Chief came a new station built next to the Old City Hall but on Pioneer Avenue. Besides the new station Chief McCarthy brought the first fire prevention program to the city. In 1941, when many Pierce County rural fire departments were just getting started as volunteer departments, Chief Brakefield took command of Puyallup Fire and started hiring paid firemen to fill the ranks. By 1957 and under Chief Parkhurst, Puyallup Fire was up to 10 paid men, in addition to 26 volunteers. Throughout the 1960s volunteer staffing was being phased out and more men were being hired. By 1968 Puyallup was staffed with 17 paid firemen and only 12 volunteers. The same year under Chief Rex Jordan a new public safety building was constructed for both the fire department and the police department, each sharing half of the building. In 1969, Puyallup gained the unique distinction of having the first 911 telephone alarm system on the West Coast. Chief Hempel followed Chief Jordan. The 1970s saw the last other volunteers leave and a department that was now fully paid. In 1975 Chief Barnhart took over. Two fire inspectors were now working full-time and by 1978 a second station was built off Shaw Road. Chief Haworth became chief in 1980 and Chief Frank took the reins in 1986. The 1990s brought with it a Paramedic program, the addition of several more firefighter positions and a third station. This station was built to be the Headquarters Station for the City of Puyallup Fire Department and to house the Administration and Prevention offices. In 2007 Chief Frank retired and Deputy Chief Ruth Obadal was promoted to fire chief and is now one of the two Deputy Chiefs with the merger of central Pierce Fire & Rescue. She has since retired.
The final merger was that of North Puyallup Fire District #11.
North Puyallup is a small community that sits between the Puyallup River and North Hill, North and to the east of the city of Puyallup with the city of Sumner to the east of it. North Hill is better known as the Edgewood area. For many years North Puyallup would receive fire protection from either the city of Sumner or the City of Puyallup. In 1955 the Community of North Puyallup decided to change that by voting to create Fire District #11 with the help of Sumner’s Fire Chief Dwire Garrett. The North Puyallup Volunteer Fire Department, as it became known to its citizens, was always a small department but made up for it with their pride and resourcefulness. By 2003 times changed, and it was getting exceedingly difficult to attract dedicated volunteers. The community was too small to hire paid personnel so the next best thing was to contract for services. They did this through the City of Puyallup, and when Puyallup Fire became part of Central Pierce, the citizens of this proud community soon voted to become part of Central Pierce Fire and Rescue as well. This happened on the 18th of August 2009, with the merger becoming official on the 15th of September 2009.
Of course when the fire department’s got started there was a need to house the man and their equipment. So here is a brief history of the fire stations of central Pierce Fire & Rescue.
Headquarters station 60 and administration offices.
Station 60 and its offices were constructed in 1979 as District #7 headquarters station at 17520 22nd Ave. East. This station replaced the first District #7 headquarters station, located at 163rd and Park Avenue South. Over the last 40 years station 60 has had many extensive remodels to include adding a training tower in 1985. This training Tower has also had a very recent extensive remodel.
Station 61 is the second Station built in the Parkland area at 100 114th Street South. The first station built in Parkland is right next door, the building directly west. The first parkland station was built in 1946 and for 23 years there were many updates and add-ons. In 1969 the current 61 was built. Over the last 50 years this station has also seen many renovations.
Station 62 was built for Parkland Fire in 1985 at 1410 Brookdale Road East. Known as the Brookdale station this station was used for 10 years as a manned station and became excessive with the Central Pierce merger. Since the merger the building has been used for many things to include a volunteer station, public education building, I.T. or Information Technology building, Pierce County Sheriff Precinct, and is currently used as our Central Stores building.
Station 63 was built in the Midland area in 2017 for Central Pierce Fire & Rescue at 1704 97th Street East and is the third fire station in the area. The community’s first station was a renovated blacksmith shop that was moved to the corner of 97th and 20th Avenue in 1942. This station was used until a new station of poured concrete walls built by P.C.F.D. #4 in 1953 at 9512 17th Avenue East. The second station saw many additions and remodels over its 64 years as the Midland Fire Station.
The current 64 station is a beautiful brick and mortar building, built in 1986 at 3421 224th Street East by PCFD #7 in the Elk Plain area, also known to some as the Bethel area. This station was built to replace the original 1949 station built by the district at 21924 22nd Ave. E. The first Elk Plain Fire Station was built of concrete cinder blocks. The station was built at the same time as its bigger sister station in the Spanaway area. This station was a scaled down version of the Spanaway station. Originally designed and built with one bay many years later a second bay was added. The construction cost for the twin stations together was 15 thousand dollars. For the 3 years prior at both locations, temporary wood structures were used to hold the first engines
To tell you the history of Station 65 is to tell you the beginning history of Spanaway Fire Department. It all started in 1940 with a few energetic people of the Spanaway Community and forming a committee to look into buying a 1917 Ford Model T owned by Puyallup Fire Department, originally from Auburn. With this purchase their new fire engine was housed and responded from Handy’s Service Station. This small community volunteer department which operated from strictly community donations would get them through the war years. In October of 1945 the business people reorganized this small department opening it up to a much larger area. On April 27, 1946 this department became Pierce County Fire Protection District #7 but better known as Spanaway/Elk Plain Fire Department and encompassing the communities of Spanaway, Elk Plain, Loveland, sections of the Frederickson and Clover Creek Communities. Now having a revenue source the department set up two temporary wood framed structures with painted shiplap siding to garage their 2 recently purchased fire engines. The building at Spanaway was 15 feet wide by 26 feet deep. The siren on top of the structure was purchased from the City of Tacoma. The land was purchased from George King, long time community business man that ran the Butcher shop, which by the way had caught fire so many years ago when Spanaway had their big fire in 1922.
In 1949 the permanent Spanaway station was built of concrete cinder block and still stands at 16215 Park Ave. S. This new station was built as a two bay station with a kitchen and small meeting room. This station was built at the same time as its smaller sister station in the Elk Plain community. On May 9, 1949 bid for both stations was awarded to Carrol Construction Company for the amount of 15 thousand dollars. Both stations were accepted and open for use on September 9, 1949. Over the next 57 years the Spanaway Station was added on and remodeled extensively.
The current station 65 was built for Central Pierce Fire & Rescue at 301 146th Street South in 2006. It was built at the same time using the same floor plan but the floor plans are reversed with its sister station 68. Both buildings were of steel construction. Station 67 though using the same floor plan was constructed a few years later using wood.
Station 66 was built in 1973 at 9813 128th Street East as a replacement Headquarter Station for PCFD #9 now known as the South Hill area. Built mostly of steel construction it has served the area well for 47 years with minor remodels within. The original station in the area was the Willow Fire Station built in 1955/1956 of concrete cinder block and sharing the same floor plan as the station in the North End area. This station was located at 9402 116th Street East is now used as a single family residence. It now houses our IT Division. Station 66 and Station 72 are now our super Station 72 on 3809 5th Street SE in Puyallup.
Station 67 was built by Central Pierce Fire & Rescue in 2008 at 8005 Canyon Road East. This is the 3rd station in the north end of what was PCFD #9. The first station was built around 1954 of concrete cinder block at 7322 50th Ave. East and shares the same floor plan as the station built afterwards in the Willow area. In 1974 the second station was built of steel at 8119 Canyon Road East and is still used by Central Pierce as a training center. The training tower was not built until 1985.
Station 68 was built in 2006 by Central Pierce Fire & Rescue, sharing the same plan as two other stations, 65, and 67. The building construction is of steel and located at 5401 136th Street East. This is the third station built in the area. The first station built in 1949, was the headquarters station for PCFD #9 in the Summit View Area, then the hub of activity for District #9. For its time, this was a large building, but the district was also a sizable area. The location of the old barn was where the Safeway gas station is now with the original address of 11325 Canyon East. At the time this large fire barn would hold all the equipment for several years before other outlying stations could be built. Construction was of concrete cinder block for the lower walls and wood framing for the second story. After almost 30 years of constant use as a fire station it was sold and used for many years after as a commercial building. The second station was built in 1976 as a wood frame building. This four bay station with office and hose tower sat very near the road of the current station. With the widening of Canyon Road it would have been impossible to use the station as a fire station. More land was purchased and the old station removed to make way for the construction of the current station.
Station 69 along with the neighboring vehicle and maintenance shop was built in 1984 at 17210 110 Ave. East. This station with its premium location next to the airport was built with the intentions of future use for possible fire aircraft and was used for a period of time by Airlift Northwest. Construction for both the station and shop is of wood with a brick cladding along the base. All vehicles and equipment repairs are channeled through the shop next door.
The original Puyallup Fair Fire Station was located on the back side or East of the Dairy Barns. This was built before 1964 for 2 men. Built of concrete block with a flat roof the building included one engine bay. Current station was built in 1985 and is close to Meridian near the South East corner of the fair grounds. It is a small wood frame building with a bedroom for two, a combined room for kitchen, dining and office and has 2 Engine bays.
Station 71 is located at 902 7th Street Northwest in Puyallup. The station is built of wood; some areas having a brick cladding exterior and other areas having a smooth stucco exterior. Opened in 1992 for the expanding Puyallup Fire Department, it was specifically designed and built to take the role of a headquarters station to house not only the growing number of specialized equipment needed by fire departments, but also for administration, code enforcement, fire prevention offices. The roll for this station has not changed and is a valuable and needed asset to Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.
Station 72 is Central Pierce Fire & Rescue’s most recent addition to the department. This station was built in 2020 to replace two aging stations, the first station 72 on 27th Street SE and station 66 on 128th Street E. The station is constructed of wood with multiple exterior surfaces including concrete block, steel and concrete panels. The station is located at 3809 5th Street Southeast in Puyallup and is larger than most to accommodate the many pieces of equipment necessary for the growing area.
The first station 72 was built as a concept fire station in 1978 for Puyallup Fire. This station was built to blend in with the surrounding residential area and that it did very well. The station was built on a hill as a 2 story wood framed building. Public access is the upper street level among the residential housing. Emergence response was from the lower busier street access of Shaw Road.
The very first Puyallup Fire Station was downtown at Main and 2nd Street South East. The very spot where the railroad metal man stands today next to the tracks is the original location of this first station. This station was a small wood frame building, maybe 12 feet by 12 feet with a separate but attached hose/bell tower to dry hose and to sound the alarm for a fire by ringing the bell. List of equipment in 1912 was 2 independent hose carts and 1000 feet of hose, 2, 55 gallon chemical tanks, 1 Village H. & L. Truck and F.A. Bell. This small volunteer fire barn and it’s volunteers served the city well for forty years.
In 1931 the second station was built on the south side of West Pioneer Ave. between 2nd and 3rd Street SW. The station had 2 engine bays and construction was of brick and mortar. In 1968 a large 2 story public safety building was built by the city for both the police and firefighters, each sharing half of the building. This building has easy access and departure for emergency vehicles with its two drive-thru bays, very forward thinking for the time. At the time there was much thought to combining City Police and Firefighter together as public safety officers, 2 jobs for the price of one employee. This could easily have been what was going on with city council at the time when they built the station. This third station is located at 311 West Pioneer.
About the Plan
To read the the entire Central Pierce Fire & Rescue 5 Year Strategic Plan document, please see below.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue (CPFR) provides fire suppression, emergency medical services, technical rescue, hazardous materials mitigation, public information and education, prevention and code compliance to the municipalities and unincorporated areas of Central Pierce County within their specified district. CPFR is consistently working to achieve and/or maintain the highest level of professionalism and efficiency on behalf of those it serves.
In an effort to work toward self-improvement, CPFR contracted with the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) to facilitate a method to document the department’s path into the future, hence the development and implementation of a “Community-Driven Strategic Plan.” The strategic plan was written in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the CFAI Fire & Emergency Service Self-Assessment Manual 8th Ed., and is intended to guide the organization within established parameters set forth by the authority having jurisdiction.
The CPSE utilized the Community–Driven Strategic Planning process to go beyond just the development of a document. It challenged the membership of CPFR to critically examine paradigms, values, philosophies, beliefs and desires, and challenged individuals to work in the best interest of the “team.” Furthermore, it provided the membership with an opportunity to participate in the development of their organization’s long-term direction and focus. Members of the department’s external and internal stakeholders’ groups performed admirably in committing to this important project and remain committed to the document’s completion.
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue’s Strategic Plan sets forth a comprehensive vision and mission statement that provides the agency with a clear path into the future. Additionally, this strategic plan identifies the core values that embody how the agency’s members, individually and collectively, will carry out the agency’s mission. In the following pages, CPFR identifies its goals, objectives, and strategies that will allow the agency to realize its vision.