Volunteer Fire Department
The St. Mary’s Glacier Volunteer Fire Department, which has been known as the Silver Creek VFD, St. Mary’s VFD and Search & Rescue Group and the Alice/St. Mary’s Volunteer Fire Department, was organized in 1979 by several civic-minded residents of the Alice and St. Mary’s neighborhoods. Initially it was a division of the St. Mary’s Glacier Metropolitan District.
Firefighters Jennifer Pedersen and David McConathy pause between evolutions at a burn building training in Summit County. CCFA firefighters are committed to training in order to maintain and improve the level of service they provide to the residents of and visitors to the fire district.
Residents outfitted a used 4×4 pick-up truck with a pump, tank and basic tools for their first apparatus and added insulation to an old garage to make it the first fire house. The members of nearby Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department donated a 1951 Reo/American 500-gpm pumper to the Clear Creek County Fire Commission in 1986. The commission assigned the apparatus to Alice/St. Mary’s. The Metro District generously expanded its building that year to accommodate both vehicles.
Three years later, the Alice/St. Mary’s Volunteer Fire Department joined the Clear Creek County Emergency Services General Improvement District (ESD), which was formed in 1988 by the voters of Clear Creek County’s unincorporated areas not already protected by another fire district. The Alice/St. Mary’s firefighters joined likeminded men and women in Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Silver Plume, Dumont, Empire and York Gulch to provide fire, rescue and other emergency services to the residents and visitors of Clear Creek County. In 1998, the seven volunteer fire departments of the ESD established the Clear Creek Fire Authority; Alice/St. Mary’s became Station 7.
Station 7 went in service for 25 emergencies in 2006. Many of those calls were in the Alice, Loch Lomond and St. Mary’s neighborhoods, but others were spread throughout the CCFA’s territory. Most of the emergencies are medical assists with Clear Creek EMS, but our volunteer firefighters also respond to motor vehicle crashes, structure fires, wildland fires, ice and swiftwater rescues, hazardous materials incidents and backcountry search and rescue missions.
The neighborhood’s volunteer firefighters renamed themselves the St. Mary’s Glacier Volunteer Fire Department (SMGVFD) in 2004 to recognize the unique geological formation in their backyards. The SMGVFD is an auxiliary non-operations wing of Station 7, although its members are the same. Our members are responsible for social functions such as purchasing and distributing turkey dinners to our less fortunate neighbors as part of Project Christmas Star and for fundraisers such as summer hot dog give-aways to raise money for SMGVFD attire as well as grant match funds for a much-needed new fire house.