The Springridge/Four Forks/Grawood
Volunteer Fire Department
In late 1983 the Springridge/Four Forks/Grawood Volunteer Fire Department, covering 110 square miles in southwest Caddo Parish, took over operation of the fire station in Springridge from the Keithville Volunteer Fire Department. This agreement included the equipment in the station, a one thousand gallon pumper truck, and a four-wheel drive brush truck. The department added a 1979 American La France pumper and a combination rescue and brush truck. In April 1984 the Caddo Police Jury formed the south half of Caddo Parish into Fire Districts, and the Springridge/Four Forks/Grawood Fire Department combined with Caddo Fire District No. 4. Ending the Year 1984 the fire department responded to 120 calls and served an estimated population of 5,000.
History of the SVFD begins…
In the early 1970’s the Keithville Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) protected all of the entire Keithville area and all of Springridge, Grawood, and the Four Forks area all the way to the Texas State Line. The area of coverage became too large for any one fire department to handle by its self.
But fortunately, sometime in the latter months of 1983, the volunteer firemen from the KVFD that lived in the Springridge, Grawood, and Four Forks areas got together and decided to form another volunteer fire department. And, a few months later, The Springridge/FourForks/Grawood Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) came into existence on January 1, 1984.
The KVFD donated the SVFD a base station, a couple of trucks, and kept the members on the fire phone system. The Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department, which is another bordering fire department, donated some used fire equipment and gave credit for a used fire truck. Mutual aid agreements were made with the fire departments also.
The SVFD made arrangements with the phone company to have the fire number ring simultaneously at all the responding firefighter’s homes. It would be a different ring…a longer sounding ringing from the normal ring. Whenever an emergency call came in, the firefighters would hear the long ringing and each would pick up the phone and listen to where the emergency was. The SVFD dispatcher had the radio base station at her home and monitored the call, updating the members as they responded.
The SVFD was funded through donations and fund raisers by going door-to-door and having garage sales, car washes, and selling barbeque chicken dinners. This method of finance worked for a while, but it got too expense for the volunteers to continue, and the parish came in and created the Caddo Parish Fire Districts.
The SVFD combined with Caddo Fire District No. 4 and started receiving funding through ad valorem taxation, bonds, and service fees which are all approved by the registered voters in the district, and the department has grown in every phase since.
The community supported a bond tax for $400,000.00 in 1984 and it was paid in full within ten years. The bond money was used for a central fire station and two substations, fire engines, fire tanker trucks, and firefighting equipment. The community supported another bond tax of $470,000.00 in 2000 that was paid off in less than the allotted fifteen year term. The bond money was used to renovate the central fire station, for purchasing an ambulance, rescue truck, engine truck, medical equipment, a cascade system, and other various firefighting equipment. The community also supported ten year renewals of our maintenance and operations tax in 2014, and our yearly $150 service fee in 2016.
In the fall of 2002, in the summer of 2006, and in the summer of 2008, the Fire District went through a drought. There were many grass and wood fires in those drought years. Burn bans were activated and strictly enforced during dry climate weather conditions. Yearly firefighting training became more and more advanced. The Fire District’s service population grew to approximately 12,000. Ending the Year 2008 Caddo Fire District # 4 responded to 1,004 calls, which is a drastic comparison to the Year 1984.
In September of 1984, the department had only 1 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and 3 Emergency Medcial Responders (EMR's) as active members. You can check out the Our Members page to see how many Firefighters, Paramedics, EMT's and EMR's are currently on the department now.