History of the Department

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The Patterson Fire Department (PFD) was formed in 1935, and has been operating in a seamless manner with the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District (WSFPD) since its inception. The PFD established itself as a leader in regionalized fire protection before it was common or an industry standard. The PFD and WSFPD have served as the example of how to regionalize fire protection services to benefit a diverse and large service area. This delivery platform provides for an enhanced and efficient delivery of all risk services to the citizens served in Patterson and the WSFPD. As with many smaller, rural communities, the City of Patterson Fire Department began as an all-volunteer agency. As the area grew, the City hired its first paid Fire Chief and Administrative Assistant, serving both the City and Fire District through a cooperative agreement. As the City began experiencing rapid growth in early 2000, the City hired its first two Division Chiefs to meet the needs of the ever increasing training mandates and fire prevention activities. These Chief Officers are also joint employees of the Fire District. As growth continued, so did the calls for service. To augment our dedicated Volunteer Firefighters, the first career firefighters were hired in 2005, and, as the City has grown, so has our rank-and-file. The PFD prides itself on the professionalism of its personnel, both career and volunteer and their commitment to our community.

Past Fire Chiefs

Division Chief GregoryChief Jeff Gregory

September 21, 2016 to October 13, 2023

Chief Steven M. Hall
Chief James W. Kinnear

Chief Steven M. Hall

December 1, 2010 to September 18, 2015

Chief James W. Kinnear 

September 3, 2002 to November 30, 2010

Chief Richard Gaiser
Chief Henry Schmidt

Chief Richard Gaiser

December 13, 1978 to December 31, 2001

Chief Henry Schmidt

September 1, 1967 to December 13, 1978

Chief Wade F. Cripe
Chief Os?sie S. Ball

Chief Wade F. Cripe 

September 7, 1964 to September 1, 1967 

Chief Ossie S. Ball 

July 7, 1929 to September 7, 1964