Before 1948, fire protection outside the City of Parkville limits was virtually nonexistent. Besides the inherent risk that fire posed to lives and property, the lack of fire service resulted in exorbitant insurance premiums.

The Parkville Volunteer Fire Department was organized and began operation in 1948 with the passage of a bond issue that allowed them to purchase a 1948 International fire truck and a new city hall/fire station on land donated by Park College (University) at the junction of First Street and Highway 9. Construction was completed by the volunteer firefighters.

Through the years the name changed a few times and the coverage area increased. In 1976, the South Platte Fire and Rescue Department became Southern Platte Fire Protection District. New stations were built and rented and new trucks were purchased for the growing Fire District.

Since then, continued population growth has resulted in subsequent growth and change within SPFPD. The District map can be viewed through this link (District Map PDF).

Presently, Southern Platte is comprised of four (4) fire stations, three (3) of which are staffed 24 hours a day and located throughout the Fire District. There are nineteen (19) cities/villages within Platte County; five (5) are in the Fire District. Southern Platte serves a response area of approximately 76 square miles and approximately 37,000 citizens.

The District is a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, similar to school districts, water districts or library districts and must adhere to State Statute Chapter 321 and all supplements to the general statutes of the State of Missouri.

The Fire District receives its funding from property taxes assessed to property owners owning property within the boundaries of the Fire Protection District. Some additional funding is derived through contractual arrangements and grant programs.

The District is governed by a three-member board (per state statutes) elected by the voters of the Fire Protection District. The Board oversees the Fire District operations and appoints the fire chief. The fire chief designates such volunteers and career staff as is authorized by the Board to carry out the responsibilities of the Fire District. Among these designees are officers who assist the fire chief in the management of the Fire District.