COMO YOU KNOW: Boone County Fire Protection District

Friday, March 8, 2013 | 11:16 a.m. CST; updated 7:23 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 9, 2014

CoMo You Know, a community wiki, adds context to stories of local interest and serves as a reference tool for readers.


The Boone County Fire Protection District has provided emergency services for the county since the mid-1960s and now encompasses about 500 square miles. It is the largest volunteer fire department in the state. The fire district operates 14 fire stations and is staffed by about 200 volunteers.

Under a recent agreement, the Columbia Fire Department responds to calls within city limits, though in some emergency situations, the call is simply answered by the closest agency.

The fire district is governed by a five-member board and is funded by property taxes from owners within the district’s boundaries.

In 1996, the fire district’s Survival Kids program earned it the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ International Award for Excellence. The program consists of lessons about important life skills and is taught by volunteer firefighters. It is taught in third and fourth grade classrooms in Boone County.

In October 2009, Scott Olsen was selected to serve as the fire district’s third chief. He replaced Steve Paulsell, who retired in November 2008 in the wake of controversy related to his salary.

Links and sources

Official site:

Scott Olsen chosen as fire chief

Steve Paulsell retires as chief of Boone County Fire Protection District

Updated: March 8, 2013

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