1880 - Hillsboro Fire Department adopted by city ordinance. Original equipment consists of one hand drawn apparatus, four ladders, one chain hook, two pole hooks, thirty six buckets, two axes and two ropes.

1889 - The first horse drawn apparatus, a steam pumper, is purchased from Albany, Oregon. The apparatus originally sailed around the Horn to San Francisco where it saw its first action.

1922 - The first motorized apparatus goes into service. The body off one of the horse drawn apparatus was remounted on an old White truck chassis.

1924 - A new motorized apparatus, a 1924 Stutz 500 gpm pumper, was purchased for $8000.00. Initial concern focused on whether the new engine would put too much strain on the city’s water mains and damage them. The water system survived and this engine remained in service many years, fighting its last fire in 1962. The Stutz is still owned by the city. It’s currently on display, mostly restored, in the foyer of the new station on First Street in downtown Hillsboro.


1928 - Walter Tews is appointed Fire Chief and the city hires its first paid fireman, Wilbur Dillon. Chief Tews builds the "first fire truck to haul water to a fire."

1935 - Chief Walter Tews resigns his position and the city appoints Wilbur Dillon as Chief.

1948 - Mobile Radios are installed and put in service in both the fire and police departments.
This is the first equipment of its type utilized in Washington County, Oregon. Newspapers of the times report it’s well received and a resounding success.

1949 - A new fire station is located on Washington Street behind the current station in City Hall. It’s dedicated in October and touted as the largest and most modern station of its type in the State of Oregon. Ironically, years later, the city managers office eventually ends up in the old fire station, possibly in the old stable area.

1950 - The first county wide mutual aid system is implemented in Washington County by the county Fire Defense Board. Chief Wilbur Dillon is reported to be highly enthusiastic that this type of cooperation can now be relied upon.

1952 - The city turns rural operations over to the newly formed Hillsboro Rural Fire Protection District, which eventual becomes Washington County Fire District #2.

1957 - Chief Wilbur Dillon retires from the service. The city appoints Lyle Oakes as the new Fire Chief.

1971 - Paid forces are increased and a three platoon; 24 hour on, 48 hour off shift schedule is implemented.

1972 - Lyle Oakes retires as Fire Chief. Dayton Arruda is promoted from Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal and assumes the duties of Chief. Manning is increased to provide for three, five man crews on the 24/48 work schedule. Administration consists of the Fire Chief and a paid Fire Marshal.

1974 - The Fire Department enters the EMS field by placing its first rescue van (R-10) into service. The new operation is an immediate success and enjoys a huge backing from the community. The first vehicle, a new 1974 Ford Econoline Van, is donated to the city by MacKenzie Ford.

1977 - The city opens a second station at 25th and Parkwood.It’s initially manned with a 24 hour, three man engine company. Today, this station is still in use houses the volunteers who staff Eng 104 & Truck 107. The departments training offices are located here. Chief Dave Nuttall is the Chief if training.

1987 - The city signs a partial operational contract with the surrounding rural fire district, Washington County Fire District #2. This results in a marked increase in the first response area and a substantial shift in operations for the Hillsboro Fire Department. Provisions in the contract require that the city review station placements and make necessary changes. The district station at 5045 SE Drake is remodeled from a volunteer station to a facility capable of housing a 24 hour paid four man engine company. The district station in Orenco is also remodeled and a third 24 hour paid engine company is added to the department’s operations. The Parkwood station remains open as a volunteer operation. Part of the additional manpower requirements are filled when all the districts paid personnel, except the Chief, are absorbed into the Hillsboro Fire Department. A full time command vehicle manned by a Battalion Chief is also implemented as a result of the contract.

1992 - Rescue 10, originally housed in the downtown main station, is relocated with its crew of two to the Parkwood station. This allows the rescue van to be centrally located in the city for better coverage on all medical alarm assignments. In the fall of 2002 Rescue 10 is moved back to the main station and the Volunteers again staff the Parkwood station with Eng 104 & Truck 107

1995 - Dayton Arruda retires as Fire Chief. Dennis England is promoted from Operations Chief and assumes the duties of Chief.

1997 - The Hillsboro Fire Department opens two new stations replacing antiquated and poorly located existing stations. The first station to be dedicated is the new main station, station 107 on First Street. It replaces the existing station on Washington Street that opened in 1949. The second station, station 103 opens at 4455 SW 229th in Ronler Acres. It replaces the old district station in Orenco. In 2000 the city orders a new LTI 100' ariel truck and places into service at station 103. In the fall of 2002 a 2nd Rescue is placed into service at station 103 as Rescue 103. Bring the staffing level at this station to a Engine, Truck and Rescue.

2002 - Chief Dennis England retires and Admin Chief Dennis Ross is promoted to Interim Fire Chief in Nov of 2002.

2003 - During Chief Ross’ service, the Department has undergone many changes. In August, the Hillsboro Fire Department received a Class 2 rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This top rating reflects the City’s success in providing fire safety to the community.

2004 - Fire Chief Gary E. Seidel, comes to Hillsboro with twenty-six years of fire service experience as an Assistant Chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department.