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Three Points History

In the mid 1980’s resident Marion Whitfield was the first to see a need for Fire and Medical coverage for the Altar Valley area.  She recruited residents Kitty Kelting, Kathy Smith, Marion Ethridge, and two others to form a Board of Directors and in 1985 the Three Points Volunteer Fire District was born. Ed Davidson was the first volunteer fire district Chief in charge of finance and administration. Tom Lazney became the first volunteer fire chief in charge of operations, truck maintenance, and recruiting of personnel; the first three volunteers were school district employees with permission to leave to answer calls. Al Espinosa, Jim Cook and Dave Williams left their school district jobs to respond to 911 calls. Volunteer personnel were going to need training and Drexel Heights Fire District agreed to train and certify our firefighters.

As the District’s volunteer list grew so did the need to expand the fleet. The District acquired several donated vehicles from Rural Metro and State Forestry which enabled them to offer subscription services to the residents and to respond to wildland assignments which brought revenue into the District. Volunteer Firefighter Earl Jackson kept a truck at his home to respond to calls on nights and weekends and Volunteer Firefighter Gary Crosby as assistant chief, kept the trucks in good mechanical condition. Earl Jackson was also the first volunteer firefighter to retire from Three Points after 20 years of volunteer service.

The first fire station was located on Ajo just west of the current Three Points Clinic location. In 1987 the landowner required the District to vacate the property but thanks to Marion Whitfield and Marion Ethridge, the District acquired land on Sasabe Hwy, the cite of the current Station 303.

The early 1990’s brought an increase in volunteers that were EMT and IEMT certified. A used ambulance was acquired and the first Rescue unit went into service. The volunteer list continued to grow and personnel continued to learn as they protected the Altar Valley community. In 1994 the Three Points Volunteer Fire District was called to help fight the Old Tucson fire and in 1995, Chief Fred Peres was hired to take over operations. Shortly after that the Three Points Fire District was officially formed.

 Thirty-nine years later, the District covers 245 square miles with a population of 5,184, we have three fire stations and employ eighteen full time firefighters and one fulltime administrative manager. We provide ALS transport services through a Certificate of Necessity with the State of Arizona. Along with protection for our residents, we also protect critical infrastructure including 70 miles of State highway, the Altar Valley School District, Ryan Airfield, 64 miles of high pressure gas lines; and thirty-eight miles of high tension power lines.