The Sonoita-Elgin Fire District
Created in 2006, the Sonoita–Elgin Fire District (SEFD) covers 325 square miles for Fire & EMS response and 750 square miles for EMS Ambulance transport. The District contains roughly 1374 homes with a permanent population of about 3000. Additionally, the area contains one school, four churches, one gas stations, seven restaurants, about two-miles of commercial area, one hotel, a half a dozen B&Bs, and twelve wineries. Over the past five years the Department has seen a 58% increase (110% increase in ten years) in our call load. Over the past few years we have built a Retention and Recruitment Program that draws volunteers from over 60 miles away. This program is based on Training, Dedication, and Ownership. We are proud of our past and excited about our future.
Sonoita-Elgin is a rural area made up of single-family homes of standard construction. Most homes are not located on serviceable all-weather roads and there are many remotely located residents who often can be accessed only with four-wheel drive vehicles. The Sonoita-Elgin area has 792.5 miles of unpaved roads, 67.5 miles of paved roads, 40 miles of BLM trails, and over 100 miles of trail access to Forest Wilderness areas.
The area’s mountain scenery and proximity to wildlands, foothills, bird refuges, and other attractions make the Sonoita/Elgin area a popular destination for tourists, hikers, campers and bird watchers. The County Fair, County Rodeo, and regular horse racing events bring thousands into the community. The tourist population often equals or surpasses the area’s permanent population on weekends. This population increase brings with it a potential increase in incident call volume, resulting from motor vehicle accidents, heat stroke, heart attacks, ATV and motor bike accidents, and hiking and camping injuries, to name a few.
The department has one Type-1 Engine, one Engine, five Type-6 Brush Trucks, one Type-2 Tender, one Rescue Unit (ALS/BLS), and two ALS/BLS Ambulances. One of our Type-6 Brush Trucks is also equipped as a back-up BLS Rescue Unit. (See Equipment for further explanations.)
The Department currently operates with 32 EMTs, 5 CEPs, 24 certified Firefighter I/IIs and 35 Wildland Firefighters, All of which are red card certified, and 12 Dispatchers. All of our Firefighters and EMTs are Hazmat First Responder certified.