In April of 1907 a group of enterprising pioneers set in motion the foundation for the Granite Falls Fire Department by establishing the bylaws for a volunteer fire department consisting of a single company and 34 members. Without apparatus or equipment the fledgling organization appealed to the city council for supplies and an operating budget. During those early years the fire department along with the rest of the City of Granite Falls saw fluctuations in population and demand for service in direct relationship to the economy of the day, which was based on logging and mining.
For the next 50 years the fire department was operated under the direction of the city government. In 1958 another group of civic leaders formed Snohomish County Fire Protection District 17 to provide protection to the farms and mills surrounding the city. The 38.5 square miles originally established as the boundaries of Fire District 17 are the same today as when the District was founded. In 1987 the City of Granite Falls was annexed as part of the Fire District.
While gravel and rock quarries have replaced the gold, silver, and copper mines of the early 1900's and single-family housing developments have replaced most of the working farms, Fire District 17 still takes pride in its volunteer spirit with 30 part-time firefighters working alongside the 10 full-time employees to provide seven-day-a-week 24-hour a day staffing. Fire District 17 protects a resident population of approximately 12,000 people and in 2015 answered more than 1900 alarms.
The firefighters staff three ambulances, two fire engines, two water tenders and a water rescue unit from two fire stations. Station 87, built in the early 1900's and located in downtown Granite Falls serves as the headquarters fire station. Station 86 opened in 2001 and is located in the southwest portion of the District near the intersection of 84th Street NE and 163rd Avenue NE. The two stations are staffed with a combination of six full-time/part-time personnel twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.
In addition to providing emergency response, Fire District 17 also provides a wide range of fire prevention and public education services including CPR and First Aid training, blood pressure checks, car seat safety checks, juvenile fire setter intervention, address plates, smoke alarm installation and station tours/visits.