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About South Bay Fire District 8


The District is celebrating its 70th anniversary!

Thurston County Fire Protection District 8, (also known as the South Bay Fire Department) is a political subdivision under the laws of the State of Washington authorized and responsible for the delivery of fire protection and emergency medical services, including fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency rescue and basic life support response. 

We are staffed by a combination of volunteers and career responders. We serve the areas of North Olympia, Boston Harbor, Fishtrap, Gull Harbor, Hawks Prairie, Johnson Point, Puget Beach, South Bay and Woodard Bay in the unincorporated areas north of Olympia and Lacey.

Fire District 8 Historical Timeline

Fire District 8 Information Sheet - 2023

A Brief Video History of South Bay Fire Protection District 8

The South Bay Volunteer Fire Department (Fire District 8) was formed by a group of neighbors in April of 1953. The concerned volunteers began with 35 members and a loaned 1939 Ford pick-up truck with a pressurized water tank in the back. The school bus barn at the old South Bay School served as the first fire station and volunteers responded to a grand total of 15 fire calls that year. That same year voters also approved the creation of the North Olympia Volunteer Fire Department (Fire District 7), to provide fire protection for the rural community in the Boston Harbor area.  The first fire station was located near the Gull Harbor Mercantile with a leased fire engine and two dozen volunteers. 

On January 1, 2015, Fire District 7 merged into Fire District 8. This was a momentous event that culminated after a long-term effort to consolidate the two fire districts. Today the South Bay Fire Department is made up of over 35 volunteers and twenty-two career staff, administered by a Board of five Fire Commissioners.  We also have two District Chaplains.


Our District serves over 13,000 residents within its 33 square mile area and our call volume exceeds 1300 calls per year. We have two staffed fire stations in the district, each housing a pumper, water tender and rescue unit. Crews respond from our South Bay Station 8-1 and North Olympia Station 8-3.  There is also an un-staffed fire station on Johnson Point.


For more about our District, you may read our Mission Statement, Vision and Goals,  Strategic Plan and Policies and Procedures on this website.

To better keep our community better informed, we send out a Community Newsletter on a quarterly basis. We also strive to keep our website current and informative. We encourage attendance at our monthly Board of Fire Commissioner Meetings that are held monthly on the first Tuesdays of the month.  Most meetings are held at South Bay Station 8-1 at 5:30 pm.



We are committed to serve our community with prompt, consistent and professional fire suppression, basic life support, rescue and prevention/ preparedness services.

We will strive to meet adopted Target Levels of Service to our community through deployment based on three strategically located firestations, staffed round-the-clock with competent responders and equipped with all necessary apparatus and equipment to provide Mission and Value driven services.

Our priority is to provide a consistent & professional emergency response throughout our District.  We are committed to deploy our resources to ensure a response that meets our Target Levels of Service regardless of the incident location within our District.

We are a team oriented organization and support each member’s achievement toward providing excellent service to our community. We commit to recruit and retain our members through programs that make effective use of their time, prepare them for their assigned duties, create synergy between organizational health & community service and build an environment that is safe, stimulating, respectful and fun.

We will provide a consistent level of leadership and support for all of our members. Our commitment is to maintain and provide round-the-clock direction and mentorship. We will provide management and other resources as necessary to ensure the success consistent with our Mission, Vision and Values.

We will identify, evaluate and offer appropriate proactive risk management programs to mitigate anticipated community hazards.

We value an actively involved and well-informed community of residents, and believe citizens should have a fair and democratic opportunity to influence outcomes, participate in activities and share the pride of ownership of their fire department.

Adopted July 11, 2017

Our organization is proud of our fiscal responsibility and efficient use of public resources. We’d invite you to read our 2018-2020 State Audits:


The Washington Survey & Rating Bureau (WSRB) is an independent non-profit public service organization that gathers and publishes information to assist the insurance industry in determining fire protection and suppression capabilities for the purpose of setting fire insurance premium rates.  WSRB assigns all Washington State communities a grade, or Community Protection Classification (CPC), ranging from 10 (little or no capability) to 1 (exemplary fire protection capabilities).

The WSRB systematically re-evaluates fire departments all over the state on a regular basis and ours was completed during the second quarter of 2020.  As a result of that evaluation, the WSRB notified our District that its CPC was improved from a “Class 5-tender credits” to “Class 3” effective December 1, 2020.  The District also retained its “tender credits” capability with the new CPC.

A CPC of “Class 3” will apply to residential and commercial properties located within five road miles of a recognized responding fire station and having standard fire hydrant distribution and water supply.  Properties in the community not meeting the above requirements will receive a different protection class rating than the CPC.  The three recognized responding fire stations are located at:

   3506 Shincke Road NE (South Bay Fire station)

   5046 Boston Harbor Road NE (North Olympia Fire station)

   8100 Johnson Point Road NE (Johnson Point Fire station)

The CPC and the individual property’s protection class may affect the owner’s fire insurance premiums (depending on the process the insurance company uses to establish premium rates).  Generally, a higher protection class can be expected to result in higher fire insurance premiums, however insurance companies set their premiums independently and may use other criteria as well.

The WSRB survey was not conducted for property loss prevention or for life safety purposes.  The purpose was to gather information needed to determine a fire insurance relevant CPC that may be used to develop fire insurance rates or loss costs.  The WSRB evaluation criteria incorporates many nationally recognized standards and has been filed with and approved by the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner.

Please contact Chief VanCamp if you have any questions or require further information. 

His telephone number is: 360-491-5320

Email Address:

For a printed copy of the WSRB, click here.

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South Bay Fire Department

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