Welcome to Bourbon Fire Protection District
The Bourbon Fire Protection District is located in Bourbon, Missouri a rural area located on Interstate 44 Southwest of St Louis.
The District is a volunteer department consisting of 35 members of Firefighters, EMT's and Paramedics.
Bourbon Fire covers 120 sq miles of Crawford County and small areas of Franklin and Washington Counties with a total population of approximately 7000 residents.
All operations are conducted out of one station at 555 Elm St and apparatus includes: 3-Rescue/Engines, 1 Light Rescue/Mini Pumper, 3-Brush Units, 1-Tanker, 1-Command Unit
Annually the firefighters answer approximately 300 alarms ranging from structure fires, brush fires, vehicle accidents, water rescues and emergency medical calls.
Many Firefighters are dual trained as Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics. This allows the patient to be stabilized for transport and assist in patient care when the ambulance arrives.
Bourbon Fire responds with local fire departments in the area including but not limited to Sullivan Fire Protection District, Leasburg Volunteer Fire Department, and Cuba Fire Department.
The Bourbon Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1939 after a fire gutted a local market at the present site of Blazers Pub & Grill (formerly Hertel’s Market). The first truck purchased was a 1939 Chevrolet for $ 550.00 that had a 450 gpm pump, 350 gallon booster tank and 750 feet of hose. The total cost to outfit the apparatus was $1132.44. The truck was purchased entirely by donations from the merchants and people of the local community. This truck is still owned by the Fire District today and is operational. In the early years the fire department was financed entirely by donations and various money making projects by the department members. The first Fire Chief of the Department was J.H. Landon and Asst Fire Chief C.E. Murphy.
In 1947 the present brick portion of the station was built entirely from donations and local donated labor. This building also housed other city departments including the Police Department and Jail.
In 1953 the city board became concerned about a single fire truck leaving town for other fires and therefore leaving the town unprotected. The city wanted to guarantee a fire truck was always in town so they began to provide income to the department so they could request this. The City of Bourbon instituted a tax to purchase a 1953 Ford that had 500gpm and 500 gallon booster tank.
The fire department began to grow and seek additional apparatus; in 1969 a used pumper was purchased from Sullivan Fire to increase the protection.
Through agreements with the Missouri Department of Conservation two “Willy Jeeps” and International Carryall were acquired for natural cover fires in the area.
Foreseeing future growth the department bought adjoining land in 1974. Then in 1976, after obtaining the funds the station was renovated to what it is today; adding five additional places for the fire trucks.
To ensure that all customers of the fire department paid for fire protection equally, the department separated from the City of Bourbon in the spring of 1977 to become the Bourbon Fire Protection District. This District encompassed a large portion of Crawford County and smaller areas of Franklin & Washington Counties.
As a Fire District, Bourbon had its own publicly elected governing board of three members. The previous inequitable “fire tag” system provided funding to the department only if people purchased one. If a person failed to buy one the department would have to bill the resident for the emergency call. Becoming a Fire District ensured that a tax would be shared by all residents of the District fairly, providing a assured income for the Fire District.
The Fire District was progressing greatly, purchasing a new 1976 International-Towers Fire Pumper with 750 gpm front mount pump and 750 gallon booster tank. Also within that year a 360 degree warning tornado/fire siren was purchased for the station. Through a grant from Dept of Transportation a set of Holmatro “jaws of life” was purchased.
In 1978 North Crawford County Ambulance District began housing an ambulance at the fire station for emergency medical calls. Years later this ambulance was later moved to its present location on Old Springfield Rd.
In 1979 a Tanker designated as T60 was purchased to carry water to the non-hydrant areas of the Fire District. This water tanker is a 1973 International that carries 2000 gallons of water and a 350 gpm portable pump.
In the early 1990’s the firefighters began to seek formal state certified training to include Firefighter I & II courses with many members becoming certified.
In 1994 the arrival of an additional fire apparatus provided work for the firefighters. The 1970 American LaFrance was refurbished and restored to excellent condition by Fire District Members. The Fire District purchased a 1998 Freightliner to supplement its fleet including top of the line equipment on the apparatus. Firefighters welcomed another new apparatus in 2003, a Pierce Kenworth Pumper. This apparatus was later replaced in 2006 with an identical 2006 pumper due to an unfortunate rollover accident.
Bourbon Fire Protection District overwhelmingly passed a ½ cent Sales Tax in 2008, which in turn rolls back the Personal Property Tax that residents pay for fire protection.
Bourbon Fire continues to strive to provide the highest level of service possible to all residents and surrounding area. As the years continue the pattern of constant improvement will continue with the help and support of the residents. Most of all, none of this could be done without the determined, dedicated and accomplished volunteer firefighters that sacrifice their jobs and family time to make Bourbon Fire what it is today.