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Official Site for the Crystal Park Volunteer Fire Department
and the Crystal Park Metropolitan District

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"First Water"

The term "First Water" actually dates back to the 1800's when fire departments competed with one another. When two departments were in the same area, the town would often only pay the first fire department on the scene, while the second received nothing. In other areas it was a matter of pride. The first department to put water on the fire would claim "First Water" and, in a way, get credit for fighting that fire. Some departments even hired young kids who would race to a fire on foot and throw a single bucket of water on the flames. This usually did very little or nothing to fight the fire, but it would earn that department the right to claim "First Water".

The phrase is still used in some areas today. When a department is called out to a fire they will often refer to three events: 1. "dispatch time"; 2. "on-scene time"; and 3. "first water"--the moment when the first water stream actually begins fighting the fire.  

Crystal Park Fire Department (CPFD) was not formed to compete, but to ensure that "First Water" is timely in a community that is 20 to 50 minutes from the nearest fire department. It is a 100% volunteer organization, with minimal funding. CPFD is an example of how a committed mountain community can enhance its quality of life through initiative, resolution and team work.