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Mokelumne Fire District History

Vintage red fire engine parked outside with equipment on board.


In the 1940s, a group of men and farmers from Victor came together to establish the Mokelumne Fire Department. The Board of Directors was subsequently formed, and they actively promoted the creation of a fire department in the community. The Board of Directors diligently screened potential volunteers, seeking individuals with high quality and dedication to join their ranks. When someone was selected as a volunteer, they were compensated with $1.00 for each fire call they responded to. Additionally, volunteers were required to attend monthly drills to receive training in equipment usage and first aid.


During its early years, the fire department possessed only a two-wheel hose cart. Whenever an emergency call came in, the volunteers would rush to retrieve the cart and respond to the incident. It wasn't until 1942 that the board of directors decided to get bids and construct the first fire station in Victor. Later on, the Department purchased its first fire engine.


The first Fire Chief was Ed Gray, and the first duly elected Board members included President John Mckindly, Vice President Vernon Mettler, Secretary-Treasurer R.E. Bechtold, and Sargent of Arms Ed Horst.


Mokelumne Rural Fire Department Organized on 2-18-1947 (Charted in 1946)


Fire Chiefs

  • 1948: Edward Gray
  • 1949: John Clemons
  • 1959: Earl Jaeger
  • 1964: Frank Terra
  • 1972: M. Handle
  • 1974: Larry Miller


Assistant Fire Chiefs

  • Leonard Horst
  • John Miller
  • Tom Bender
  • Burton Binger
  • Lemon Frey
  • D. Cooley
  • Henry Geigle


This information outlines the early history of the Mokelumne Fire Department and the individuals who played significant roles in its formation and development.

May contain: architecture, building, factory, assembly line, manufacturing, adult, male, man, and person
Chief Earl Jaeger & Assistant Chief Tom Bender  August 1961 Victor Fire Station
May contain: person, adult, male, man, face, and head
May contain: transportation, truck, vehicle, person, machine, and wheel
Fire Chief Frank Terra 
May contain: clothing, hat, electrical device, microphone, face, head, person, photography, portrait, adult, male, man, and wristwatch
Fire Chief Larry Miller  1970s 
May contain: adult, male, man, and person
May contain: adult, male, man, person, face, head, photography, and portrait
Fire Chief Dan Leary 


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