The department was started around 1947 by Harold Schieferstein as the result of the fire-caused death of his uncle. Other founding members were Ed Barnett, Walter Dietz, Tom Jamieson, Roy Lien, Al Loomis, Rodney Mathers, Tom McClure, Jack Nixon, Maynard Paugh, Tony Polsak, Erv Ronnigan and Fred Warner. Rodney Mathers was asked to join due to his extensive experience with trucks. Jack Nixon was asked to join because of his skills as a welder. Jack welded the tank that was on the chassis the group obtained. That first truck was ready for service in 1948, and was parked in Rodney Mathers driveway. The group built a fire station next door to Tom Jamieson's home on Emerald Street on a lot he donated. Early meetings were in the community center at the Baptist church across Emerald Street from the fire station. The church bell was donated by a machine shop in Klamath Falls as a fire bell, but was used as a church bell. The Deputy State Fire Marshal told an off-color joke at one of the early meetings, which resulted in the fire department being barred from holding their meetings at the church's community center. The Deputy State Fire Marshal recommended that the department elect a chief and assistant chief, and they were to organize the department. Rodney Mathers was made chief, and Al Loomis was his assistant chief. Erv Ronnigan helped draft the first bylaws.