Department History

Steese Fire Service Area History

Steese Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) is a non-profit corporation organized in 1979 for the purpose of fire protection suppression and public fire education. The department was formed by a group of individuals who saw a desperate need in the rural community for fire suppression services. Many homes and lives were being lost due to lack of adequate protection. Military, municipal and wildland units gave some emergency responses, but these were limited, sporadic and untimely. Several months of effort and late night meetings resulted in the beginnings of the organizing of the department and service area.

Fire Response: The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly formally established the Steese Fire Service Area, after a favorable vote of the residents of the service area. Through multiple voluntary annexations the service area has grown to its present size. The department filed Articles of Incorporation and received certification by the State on the same day, July 2, 1979.

The fire service area is located just north east of the City of Fairbanks. The service area is a division of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.   Its board of Commissioners acts as the agent for the Borough in the administration of the Fire Service Contract with the Department. The service area consists of 30 square miles of rural/suburban residential properties with a population of approximately 9,750. Funding is raised through levy of a mil rate tax on property within the service area and is forwarded to the department for the operation of contracted services. Most apparatus, equipment and facilities are property of the Fairbanks North Star Borough; however, the contract makes the department the sole trustee of the resources.

EMS Response: Since its founding, the Department has provided EMS First Responder services, working with a number of ambulance transport agencies. On July 1, 2000, the Department assumed the ambulance transport contract for the entire northeastern portion of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, an area of approximately 2,500 square miles.

In addition to providing services to these primary areas, the department through mutual-aid agreements with other fire departments within the Fairbanks North Star Borough provides emergency service in the form of assistance to these secondary service areas.   To meet its responsibilities, the department operates three engines, two water tankers, one 50-foot aerial truck, one rescue truck, three ambulances and several utility vehicles out of three stations.