Steve Boone, who started working for the McCloud Volunteer Fire Department at age 18, was hired by the Community Services District last month to be McCloud’s permanent part-time Fire Chief.

Formerly the department’s assistant chief, Boone was born and raised in McCloud. After five years as a volunteer, he was hired to work for Lassen County as a firefighter and EMT with the ambulance.

He returned to the McCloud about four years ago. “We are starting over fresh and rebuilding,” Boone said. “We are community driven. My goals are to restructure the fire department as a whole.”

Boone is upgrading the fire hall and installing lockers for firefighters. He is restructuring the training for firefighters and medics. “It is important for me to make sure we have the training and equipment necessary for the firefighter’s safety. That is my number one priority,” he said.

There are currently 21 volunteers, a combination of firefighters and EMTs, in the McCloud Fire Department.

“I am trying to stabilize the ambulance service,” said Boone. “We have been on 34 calls since January 2nd when I got it up and running, compared to the 35 calls during the whole last year. It takes a lot of time to make sure we have the drivers and medics available and able to respond and transport each day.” He adds, “I want better training for my team. I want to create more opportunities for them.

“I am working on funds to improve on the equipment, ambulance and engines to support our community and tourists that come here. I want to do my best to support my community like they have supported us; 96.5 percent of our calls are medical. I want to meet the community needs and try to have two paid medics here 24/7 to support our community.”

McCloud CSD General Manager Kimberly Paul said, “Steve Boone’s passion for the McCloud community comes through. Because the majority of the calls in McCloud are medical, our ambulance is running all the time. Steve is working hard to find a way to supplement the Fire Department’s revenue stream to possibly employ medics instead of just using volunteers. And that is just one of the examples. Steve is not afraid to seek out assistance or use other resources to help or solve challenges he faces in the department.”

CAL FIRE McCloud Station Captain Shane Emery, who has been employed since 1997 working his way up the ranks, said the new chief “puts more work and effort into the job building relationships with cooperating other agencies and with the community. And he spends a lot of time training his firefighters. We at CAL FIRE McCloud Station look forward to working with Steve and bringing in a higher level of service to the community of McCloud.”

Sheri Burris, a longtime member of the Firemen’s Association, said, “I think Steve is very attentive to firefighters. He wants to get the fire department and ambulance back on track for better service for our community. He is very personable to the public.”

Boone adds that they are always looking for more volunteers and he invites anyone interested in becoming a volunteer with the McCloud Volunteer Fire Department to come and talk to him on drill nights, which are held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Fire Hall.