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Department history

In 1973, Tarpon Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. was organized by nine concerned citizens, primarily to protect Windmill Point and Anchorage subdivisions. It was originally operated out of a lean-to located at the intersection of Tarpon Lake Blvd and Anchorage Lane. Original members included Phil English, Dean Walker, Al Knight, Roger Garrett, Bob Timoney, Charles Bedell, Charles Bennett, Tom Jarrell and Mike Nabor. The first Volunteer Fire Chief was Edward "Bud" Pirwitz.

1st Engine - 10/23/73 Purchased a 1945 Dodge from Seminole Park Volunteer Fire Dept. for $250. Had a 500gpm front mount PTO pump.  Truck was named "Snoopy"

1974

02/26/74 - Tarpon Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. requested charter from the State of Florida. The nine original founders paid the fees.

03/11/74 - Chartered by the State.

First Rescue call - 14 y/o drowning victim at Hunt's Employee Park on Lake Tarpon; Memorial Day Weekend

First Structure Fire - 06/22/74 10:00pm mobile home on Old East Lake Rd

2nd Engine - Donated by the Division of Forestry.  Also had a 500gpm front mount PTO pump.
1st Tanker - Donated by McDill Air Force Base.  500 gpm tank with a 250gpm pump.

1975

They now had 15 volunteers and began participating in live training burns.

1976

Purchased 1949 American LaFrance $8,000

1979

First paid member - Fire Chief Tom Jarrell.

Now have 22 Volunteers and had replaced all of the original trucks

Purchased first new truck, an Emergency-One 250gpm Rescue Pumper.

1980

Dedicated Station 57, built on land donated by the Lansbrook Corp.. Cost was $130,000. Also hired first full time firefighter- Bill Edling Sr. 

Purchased a 1978 Mack for $49,519.00

Purchased first new Engine from Emergency-One

Purchased first BLS Ambulance through donations raised in the community

1981

Hired 3 more personnel; Tom May, Dave Anthony, and Howard Boehm.  

1982

Began providing ALS Service (Paramedics)

5/25/82 Purchased Chevy Ambulance from Pinellas County

10/82  Fire Chief Robert Lani  hired

1983

Changed name from Tarpon Lake Volunteer Fire Dept to:  East Lake Fire & Rescue Inc.

1984

Dissolved Volunteers 

Purchased 2nd new Engine from Emergency-One

1986

Fire Chief Ronald W. Taylor hired

1989

"The eagle has landed" takes on new meaning  for East Lake Fire & Rescue as development of its new fire station is halted due to an eagle building a nest approx. 200ft from the proposed building site.

1992

Purchased first ladder truck from E-ONE 75'  T57

Five new Fire Commissioners now directing department

1993

Traded in ladder truck 

Purchase 2 - new Engines meeting latest  NFPA standards from E-ONE "E57" & "E58"

Opened Station 58 on Keystone Rd This new facility meets latest NFPA and OSHA standards. Building is completely sprinkled, including attic.

1994

Sent 523 "P57" back to E-ONE for refurbishing 

Received a new 4-person enclosed cab

New hydraulic ladder rack installed and upper compartments added

1999

Station 56 is opened on East Lake Rd. This facility also meets NFPA and OSHA standards. Building is completely sprinkled.

Purchased Squad from E-ONE  "S57"

Purchased new Ford Expedition for District Chiefs "D57"

2000

June 20, 2000 - www.eastlakefirerescue.com created by Lt. Bill Edling  

2000 - September 5, 2000 - East Lake Fire & Rescue becomes a "Special Independent Fire District" by a 59.75% YES Vote!

December 31, 2000 - Fire Chief Ron Taylor retires

Assistant Chief Jeff Parks assumes Acting Fire Chief position.

2001

October 1, 2001 - Jeffrey S. Parks promoted to Fire Chief 

December 26, 2001 - East Lake Fire & Rescue Board of Commissioners voted to return the Daytona Squad to E-One; A new Squad will soon be ordered.

2002

September 11, 2002 - East Lake Fire & Rescue debuts new Honor Guard consisting of 8 members: Lt/P Bill Edling, Lt/P Scott McLain, DE/E Bill Figuredo, DE/P Greg Godwin, FF/P Mark Calderini, FF/P Jim Campbell, FF/P Joe Fuller and FF/E Megan Gray

September 11, 2002 - East Lake Fire & Rescue debuts new patch

2003

February 7, 2003 - Saulsbury Rescue Pumper Delivered (S57)

February - ELFR purchases 3 thermal imaging cameras: click here for full story

October - Took delivery of 20 new Survivair SCBAs: click here for full story

December - ELFR takes delivery of 2 more Saulsbury Rescue Pumpers (E56 + E58)

2005

January 1, 2005 - Fire Chief Jeffrey S. Parks retires

June - Installed laptops in front line units

June 30, 2005 - Fire Chief Jeff Malzone is appointed.  

October 2005  - Pinellas County leases East Lake Fire Rescue a 2000 gallon Water Truck

2006

January 30, 2006 - ELFR takes delivery of a new Firematics B.R.A.T. Brush Truck

October 3, 2006 - DE/Paramedic: Howard Boehm becomes the first member to officially qualify and retire from East Lake Fire Rescue after 25 years of service.    

2007

December 11, 2007   Old Station 57 torn down

2008

New Station 57 erected

2009

July 12, 2009 - 2009 E-one placed in-service as the new E56

2011

June 1, 2011 - Tom Jamison promoted to Fire Chief

2015

3 New Pierce state of the are Fire Engines Placed in Service

Water Extrication Team  (WET) Placed in service