Richwoods Fire Department was founded in 1984, by a few concerned citizens with the help of the Mo Department of Conservation. Before Richwoods Fire Dept. was in existence Richwoods was in a blackout area, that meant it wasn't covered by any certain fire department. Desoto Rural sold fire tags to those who wanted them. Richwoods fire could have sold fire tags to raise money when it started, but all the volunteers voted unanimously not to. They feared some citizens could not afford them. The members knew that they could not respond to one persons emergencies and not their neighbors. RVFD was supported by volunteers, fundraiser's and donations from the community. Volunteers raised money by having BBQ’s, deer hunter specials, Parked cars at old mines Round De Vue, bake sales, and carnivals. The Citizens of Richwoods were great in supporting these fundraiser's.
We started with two brush trucks, a jeep 4x4 p/u and a dodge crew cab 4x4 p/u donated by the Mo Department of Conservation to get us started in 1984. The trucks were kept in a donated garage at the junction of Hwy A and Hwy H and Hwy 47. In the winter we kept heat lamps on the pumps to keep them from freezing. For tools we started out with a chain, shovel, hammer and some rakes. We still joke about who ever drove the trucks had to pay for the gas, like back when RVFD first started. Richwoods fire moved out of the old garage and into a bigger building (same building were we are located today) The building was donated to us by the Mo Dept. of Conservation. Ray Lee Davis donated the land to us. In 1987 the Fire Dept. volunteers tore down and rebuilt the building in its present location. Later In 1987 concrete floors were added to the first bays in the fire house. Richwoods fire shared a third of the building with the Mo Department of Conservation. In 1989 the Mo Department of Conservation moved out and the entire building became Richwoods fires. Also in 1989 we acquired two pumpers, ( one ford and the other a international), we retired these trucks many years later. We purchased a international mini pumper in 1990 from Antonio Fire Department. In 1993 Richwoods Fire became a Fire District, and purchased a Ford tanker from Bismark Fire Department. In 1994 RVFPD became a Tax based district, and purchased a White Ford Pumper from Springdale Fire Department. In 1997 we acquired a 1990 ford rescue van from Washington County Ambulance District. The Washington County Ambulance District donated the van to us for having the most active first responders in the county. RVFPD purchased a Chevy tanker from Pennsylvania and received a Chevy brush truck from Mo Department of Conservation in Apr. 2001. In Feb, 2002 we purchased a Ford pumper and a American La France from Virginia. We acquired property across from Walnut Rd. on Highway A which was donated by Melvin Reed. This will be the future location of our second firehouse. In 2004 We purchased a International Pumper from Desoto City Fire. Feb, 2005 we acquired a 1980 Ford Brush truck from Mo Department of Conservation and Desoto City Fire. Within the past few months we purchased a water Storage tank. The tank is placed underground at the fire house Adjacent to the smaller tank we all ready have. These tanks will hold large amount of water to be used during a fire. This tank will allow us to refill our trucks faster. We will also be Placing several dry hydrants around our district. Placing these tanks and dry hydrants will improve our water sources as well as lower our ISO rating.
Currently we have a Five person Board of directors, thirty one active firefighters, fifteen medical first responders, Two EMTs, Three Junior Firefighters, Our apparatus includes two Pumpers, three Tankers, a light rescue, a Heavy Rescue, a Brush Truck, and a Cascade Unit. Our district covers 180 square miles. Our population was about 1,400 at the last census. Our ISO rating is a 9 for everyone within a five mile radius of the fire house and an ISO rating of 10 for everyone outside the five mile radius. One of our biggest fundraiser's that we continue to do today is our annual Haunted hay ride.