Our History

Chena Goldstream Fire & Rescue is a non-profit corporation established on August 8th of 1977 for the purpose of fire suppression and public fire education. The department was formed by a group of individuals who saw a desperate need in their rural community for fire suppression services. Originally two smaller departments, CGFR is the combination of Happy Chena Fire Department and the Goldstream Fire Department. When first established, Chena Goldstream Fire & Rescue went by Chena Goldstream Volunteer Fire Department. During these early years, the department operated as a subscription-based service for both Fire and EMS. Eventually, in 1985, the funding was taken over by a newly established, voter-approved Fairbanks North Star Borough service area.

Chena's First Mascot
Chena Goldstream’s First Mascot
“The Flup Bird”

Shortly after its founding, our first fire station was built in 1978 with volunteer labor on land that was donated by Ivan Vail. Mr. Vail was
a founding member of the department and an assistant chief when he retired after many years of service. The station has since been named in Mr. Vail’s honor. This was Chena Goldstream’s original and, for a time,
only station. There was no central dispatch service at the time, so volunteer members were self-dispatchers. One person was on duty at all times to receive emergency calls. He or she would dispatch the necessary units when a call came into the station. Being a sole volunteer fire
department, Chena Goldstream provided service wherever and whenever requested.

Chena Goldstream’s current headquarters is located on Chena Ridge. It was built largely with volunteer labor in 1980, with an addition built on in 1999, and includes housing, offices, a training room, and a bunk room for staff and personnel, along with six apparatus bays. As the Fairbanks area grew, CGFR built two additional stations and now serves the areas of Chena Ridge, Rosie Creek, Goldstream Valley, and Murphy Dome. In addition to providing services to these primary areas, the department provides mutual aid to other fire departments within the Fairbanks North Star Borough. To meet its responsibilities, the department operates four engines, four water tenders, two ambulances, and several commands and utility vehicles out of the four stations. Today, Chena Goldstream Fire and Rescue serves a community of over 10,000 people spread across 180 square miles and responds to about 500 emergency calls every year. Located in the rugged landscape of Alaska’s vast interior, the men and women of Chena Goldstream Fire and Rescue will continue to add to the long, storied history through service, education, and community outreach.