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The Grass Valley Fire Department was first organized in 1853 with the establishment of the Grass Valley Hook and Ladder Company.  It is the third oldest active fire department West of the Mississippi River.  In 1855 the city passed an ordinance proclaiming that every property owner shall provide 50 gallons of water and four buckets for each floor level they owned.  This Ordinance was not too successful as the town of Grass Valley was destroyed by fire in 1855.

The department was formed as a total volunteer organization and at its height had four fire companies and 100 volunteer firefighters.  Today the Grass Valley Fire Department has 15 career personnel and 20 paid-call firefighters and is celebrating its 154 year birthday.  The Fire Department covers an area of 5 square miles and protects a population of 12,000 which is increased on any given weekend day by 2000 - 5000 tourists.  The department responds to 2,300+ incidents a year with 75% of the calls for service being emergency medical responses. 

Grass Valley Fire Department operates 4 Type 1 Engines, an air support unit, an OES fire engine, a 75' aerial, and maintains a 1926 Seagrave antique fire engine.  The ladder truck is a 1980 American LaFrance Water Chief Quint.  The truck has a 75' aerial ladder with a 1000 gpm monitor and the "Wayne Spud" discharge port at the tip.  This discharge was developed by retired Grass Valley Fire Chief, Wayne Smith, to extend working hose lines in elevated operations.  The "Wayne Spud" was included as standard equipment on all water chief quints in the following years.  Grass Valley Fire Department's ladder truck carries a crew of five firefighters.  This is currently the only ladder truck in Nevada County and responds to many mutual aid requests. 

Since 1997 the Department also has sponsored an Explorer Post for youth who wish to be part of a fire department.  They are taught the basic skills of firefighting and receive basic medical training.   They perform a "ride-along" with the on duty staff where they participate in all daily functions of the fire department, including responding to incidents.  The Explorers also participate inall extra curricular events associated with Grass Valley Fire Department.  At the age of 18 the Explorers can attend the Nevada County Regional Fire Academy where they receive additional training.  After graduation they are qualified to become a paid-call firefighter with any Nevada County fire department.  Explorer Post 1300 has been participating in a patch trade program for several years and now has enough patches to build an impressive patch board.  The Explorers are responsible for the receiving and shipping of patches from all around the United States. 





L. M. Smith
1861 C. A. Layton
1863 S. D. Levitt
1864 H. C. Brown
1865 Lyon Zacharies
1866 S. D. Levitt
1867 W. M. Montgomery
1868-1869 Aaron Hooper
1870 John R. Crocker
1871 George Murphy
1872 Aaron Hooper
1873-1874 M. Byrne, Jr.
1875 Peter Brunstetter
1876 R. R. Smith
1877 W. H. Andrews
1878 Jacob Wilhelm
1879 Thomas George
1880-1881 John George
1881-1882 John Seligar
1883 George R. Carson
1884 George C. Wanamaker
1885-1886 H. B. Johnson
1887 William G. Frank
1888 William H. Freeman
1889 William H. Mitchell
1890 C. E. Miller
1891 John George
1892 George Fox
1893 E. E. Appleton
1894 William H. Morgan
1895 Arthur Powell
1896 James Hosen
1898-1899 C. E. Clinch
1900 J. C. Conway
1901 J. P. Kenney
1902 J. H. Coughlyn
1903 Eli Benoit
1904-1905 James Lucas
1906 Henry Williams
1907 Harry George
1908 T.J. Ahearn
1909 A. F. Brady
1910 Henry Williams
1911 George C. Wanamaker
1912 Adolph Morateur
1913 C. R. Clinch
1914 W. J. Mitchell
1915 Ralph Vincent
1916 Thomas Bone
1916 Richard George
1917 Ed Curnow
1918-1921 Henry Williams
1922 Charles Lucas
1923 Ernest Rowe
1924 Leroy Bond
1925 Irvin Sims
1926-1927 William Sproul
1928 James Oliver
1929 Lealand Rowe
1929 Earl Richard
1930 Enard Nankeris
1931-1932 Harold Hutchison
1933 Aurthur Barrick
1934 Pakar Daley
1935 Richard Hosking
1936 Harold Whiting
1936-1937 Ernest W. Penrose
1938 John L. Frank
1939 Ernest Rowe
1940 John Harris
1941 Harry Nichols
1942 Carl Whiting
1942-1943 Leroy Bond
1944 Alison Simmons
1945 Clare F. Hughes
1946 Leslie Cicogni
1947 William Strick
1948 Daniel V. Asnicar
1949 Jack J. Bluette
1950 E. F. Williams
1951 C. H. Doolittle
1952 Matt DePauli, Jr.
1953 E. P. Abrahams
1954 Delroy Bonivert
1955 Clarence P. Collins
1956 Fred J. Richards
1957 Brian Bennallack
1958 Richard H. Hales
1959 Raymond Harting
1960 Thomas Barry
1961 William "Stan" Penaluna
1962 Douglas H. Toy
1963 Edward J. Tellam
1964 Maynard "Bud" Collier
1965 James M. Hawkeswood
1966 Jack M. Clark
1967 Paul Preston
1967-1968 William Boundy
1969 Dyter D. Rush
1970 Jaime I. Lincoln
1971-1972 Charles A. Gaines
1973 Tim Grover
1974 Dan Holley
1975 Ed Abrahams
1976 Thomas Berry
1977 Mike "P.W." Dickey
1978 Ed Tellam
1979-1980 Wayne F. Smith
1980 Martin Penaluna
1981-1985 John Straka
1986-1987 Tom Browning
1988-1990 Corey Smith
1991-1996 Jeff Brady
1997-2005 Hank Weston

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