In the beginning, the Tracy Fire Department relied heavily on the response from local volunteers. The old fire house had a large alarm tower that activated a siren to alert the nearby volunteers of an awaiting call. It wasn’t until the volunteers came to the station to pick-up a fire engine that a response actually took place. As the department transitioned into the mid-century, it began to operate as a combination department with a small professional force. The department continued to rely on the volunteers to augment the full-time personnel.
When the Tracy Rural Fire Department was established in 1945, it also relied heavily on volunteer firefighters to respond to their calls. Many of the volunteers were local farmers who had flexible schedules and could leave at a moment’s notice for an emergency.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the city fire department started to build their full-time force as the region began to grow. The department transitioned from using volunteers to utilizing “Reserve Firefighters”. Reserve firefighters are now required and paid to train, respond to calls and do ride-alongs with full-time department engine companies.
The current objectives of the Tracy Fire Reserve program are to augment the company staffing with trained personnel, provide training and skills development that will enhance each candidate’s ability to compete successfully for a full-time firefighting position and to provide a well-rounded training program that meets the needs of the reserves and the department.
The reserves are required to attend drills and ride-along on a monthly basis, as well as respond to greater alarm fires when requested. They also play a huge role in some of the charitable work done by the fire department. Some examples include the Run for the Ribbon, Relay for Life and the annual Pancake Breakfast.
The Tracy Fire Reserve program is a very fun and exiting program to be involved in. The reserves are very well respected by the community and the full-time force. They are very much a part of the Tracy Fire family and their desire to serve their community has been greatly appreciated.
If you would like more information about our Reserve program feel free to stop by any of our stations or the Human Resources office at City Hall to submit an interest card.