Department History Cont.

1913 – American LaFrance Chemical Truck
In 1913, the membership of the department, after much debate, ordered an American LaFrance Chemical Truck. Delivered in 1914, the truck was put to use immediately only to discover the shortcomings of the chemical tank. The department ordered a Triple Combination Pumper truck from American LaFrance to replace the chemical truck. 
1917 – American LaFrance
The department used the 1914 truck as a trade-in on the truck delivered in 1917. Many of the older firemen often confused the two different American LaFrance trucks in relating their tales of fires fought in the late teens and early twenties. This probably occurred because the 1914 American LaFrance was so quickly replaced due to its inadequacy. The 1917 American LaFrance has remained with the department to this day. The 1917 American LaFrance fought its last fire in 1951 when the Kuteman Building burned.

Early 1920’s – First Firemen on Payroll

In the early 20’s, the Fire Department and the City placed the first of many firemen on the payroll to protect the citizens of the community. The need to keep the trucks and equipment in good running order had become apparent to all.

1924 – Stutz Triple Combination Pumpers
By 1924, the City purchased a pair of consecutive serial-numbered Stutz Triple Combination Pumpers. The most notable story about one of the Stutz trucks has to do with a very late night response to Mineral Wells. The Stutz and its crew drove the Old Mineral Wells Highway to assist in fighting a large blaze in downtown Mineral Wells and covered the course in record time. Currently, the remaining 1924 Stutz is being restored to running condition and will once again take its place along side the 1917 American LaFrance.

1933 – New City Hall & Fire Station
In 1933, a new City Hall and Fire Station were built on the property donated by the Fire Department.

The location of the new station was still on Palo Pinto Street. The old 1911 station was replaced and the new station was built just 50 feet west of the 1911 station location. The new address was 119 Palo Pinto Street.

1950’s – Trucks Come & Go
As time passed, trucks, members, and employees came and went. The City continued to grow. The 1950’s saw additional firefighters placed “On Duty” on a 24-hour basis. In 1955, a new American LaFrance Engine took its place next to the old and tired Stutz Engines. 1963 saw the pair of Stutz Engines placed out to pasture as another new American LaFrance Engine backed in the station doors on Palo Pinto Street. One of the old Stutz Engines was sold and the other kept by the department. Eventually, the remaining Stutz and the 1917 American LaFrance ended up in The Texas Fireman’s Museum in Grand Prairie.

1971 – Volunteer Firemen Begin to Dwindle

By 1971, the Department employed nine Firemen and a Fire Marshal. The roster of 45 volunteer Firemen whose companies still carried the names of the old Engine Company Number 1, Hose Company Number 1, and Hook and Ladder Company Number 1, began to dwindle. The demands of everyday life and responsibilities of their jobs, in essence, forced the Volunteer Firemen to spend more time on their jobs and less time at the Fire Station. Sadly, the Volunteer ranks began to fade.

1984 – New Equipment
With the eighties came progressive changes. Additional manpower and new equipment were added and in January 1984, the first Official full-time paid Fire Chief, George Teague, was hired.

National Fire Safety Council

Under the Chief’s leadership, an aggressive and well-trained department developed. Incident responses began to increase and responsibilities were added with the institution of First Responder and Hazardous Material Response Programs. The Department, in conjunction with the National Fire Safety Council, began teaching Fire Prevention in the Pre-K and Kindergarten levels of the public school system.

1985 – New Station
The Fire Museum closed and the Stutz and 1917 LaFrance came back home. In 1985, a new Station 1 was built at 122 South Alamo Street where the old, red brick Weatherford High School once stood.

For the first time in 100 years, the department did not occupy a station in the 100 block of Palo Pinto Street

A Christmas Tradition Begins

The American LaFrance was placed in a display window inside the station for all the citizens to enjoy.

A tradition of decorating the 1917 American LaFrance at Christmas began.

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