Protecting and Informing the Chesterfield Community
The Monarch Fire Protection District has long been dedicated to making the community safer, said Roger Herin, deputy chief/fire marshal.
Based at 13725 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield, the district has come a long way, since 1925, when volunteers started what was then called the Bellefontaine Volunteer Fire Department. The original fire department operated out of the old Bellefontaine Motors business which was then at Olive Street and Chesterfield Parkway East.
In the beginning, the department owned only one piece of equipment and was operated on revenue generated by residents purchasing an annual fire tag – for $3 a year – that was affixed to each home.
In 1957, the organization was renamed the Chesterfield Fire Protection District, utilized three pieces of equipment, 12 volunteers and two engines houses – the original house and a new one on Wild Horse Creek Road in a rented garage east of what’s now Engine House No. 2. At that time, the district became tax supported.
The first full-time employees were hired and the first ambulance placed in service in 1962.
In 2003, the district changed its name to the Monarch Fire Protection District.
Today, Monarch covers about 62.7 square miles, and serves more than 60,000 people in Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and unincorporated St. Louis County.
Monarch has more than 125 employees, working out of facilities including: the administrative building at 13725 Olive Blvd., a maintenance facility at 151 Long Road, a training tower at 911 John Pellet Court, Station 1 at 15700 Baxter Road, Station 2 at 18424 Wild Horse Creek Road in Wildwood, Station 3 at 1201 Fernview Drive in Creve Coeur, Station 4 at 14898 Olive Blvd. and Station 5 at 155 Long Road.
In 2015, the district responded to 7,362 calls, of which 4,719 were emergency medical services. That compares to 2016 year to date figures of 3,273 calls, of which 2,115 were EMS calls.
The district offers various community risk reduction programs.
“It’s a team effort from everybody here,” Herin said.
For instance, CPR classes are held regularly, on the first Tuesday of each month at the headquarters.
Also, fire extinguisher training is offered for businesses and Monarch staff will travel to their locations upon receiving a request. There is also fire safety and evacuation planning offered for businesses, as well as disaster preparedness, on request.
Firefighters regularly attend neighborhood parties and events, such as National Night Out.
“Our staff is starting a program to visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area, to work with staff on a regular basis with training for fire drills and helping residents with safety issues such as preventing slips, trips and falls – for assisted living facilities, we’ll also have some cooking safety tips,” Herin said.
The district’s annual Safety Day – teaming up with the city of Chesterfield – was held in May and offered activities for children, distribution of fire safety material, CPR demonstrations, and provided a display of various kinds of equipment.
“We regularly do events and presentations for civic groups such as Boy and Girl Scouts and others,” Herin said. “We also visit schools, church groups, neighborhood associations to offer information and tips.”
The district offers an Explorer Post program which gives teens an introduction into the fire service by letting them spend time in the fire houses and help out with community risk reduction events.
“Reaching out to the community has always been important to Monarch,” Herin said.