In the early years of the Heber-Overgaard community, residents that became sick or injured relied on each other and private vehicles to get them to medical attention. The sick or injured person was loaded into a car and drove to a hospital. Any fires were handled with garden hoses or buckets. Any structure that caught fire was considered a total loss. There were a few civic-minded people who recognized the need for an organized fire department. There were a few active groups in the area, such as the Sheriff's Posse and Search and Rescue, that did what they could. On February 1, 1971, during a meeting of the Sheriff's Posse, a motion was made to promote the forming of a fire district. The motion carried, and the groundwork began to move forward. The land was acquired, permits obtained, and fund drives were organized. In October of 1971, a representative of Arizona State Forestry attended a meeting and gave a presentation on how to organize a fire department. In March of 1972, the Sheriffs Posse group folded due to members moving out of the area, and the fire department project was put on hold. In 1973, the newly formed American Legion took up the task. A committee was formed with an acting chairman. With assistance from other committee members, a petition was circulated to hold an election on the forming of the fire district. The cost of the election was paid for by the American Legion. On the Fourth of June 1973, the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department was officially established. The first fire district was 102 square miles. Only 26 people voted during the election, with all voting yes. Ivan Wilson was elected Chief and Rev. Larry Rhodes as secretary-treasurer. Walt Downs and John Shaffery, Sr., signed up as firemen. On June 21, 17 more men signed up. The first fire truck was a 1947 Studebaker purchased from Holbrook. Classes were set up, and training began in earnest. The first ambulance was a 1974 Dodge Sportsman Van that had been converted into an ambulance in Pine, Arizona. Much of the equipment was obtained by grants or on loan from Arizona Department of Health Services. Over the years, the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department has grown from an all Volunteer Dept. to a Combination Dept. in July of 2001, the Dept. grew to 10 full-time personnel, 7 of which are Firefighter I & II and Advanced EMS certified, 15 volunteers that are EMS or Fire certified or both and operate out of 5 fire Apparatus, 2 type 1 ambulances, and 1 type 3 engine. Today, the district has 12 full-time firefighters, with 7 of the current firefighters trained as Paramedics, and the remaining are EMTs. We have grown to 2 front-line engines, 1-Type 3 Wildland Engine, 2-Water Tenders, 2- Type 6 Brush Trucks, and 3 (soon to be 4) paramedic Type 1 ambulances and one Type 2.