Alvin Volunteer Fire Department

302 West House Street
Alvin, Texas 77511
281.331.7688

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday-7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Closed: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Fire Department History

1893 The City of Alvin is incorporated with a population of 1027.

1898
First fire department formed, assembling troops for the Spanish American War. The only fire fighting was done with buckets and barrels at the Railroad Depot.

1900 The Great Storm wiped out most of Alvin. Two years later at 3:00 a.m., a store in the center of the business district caught fire and burned 32 businesses at a loss of $60,000.00. Shortly thereafter, the City businesses were rebuilt and they purchased a hose reel, but no Fire Department was organized.

1904 Following the Great Storm and Big Fire, a bell and wooden tower were erected and served as a fire alarm for the town folks. At the time, the town folks were their own bucket brigade.

1910 Opti Moulton is elected Fire Chief and the City officials and business merchants financed the first fire engine built by members of the fire department. It was made out of buggy wheels. A blacksmith built an axle and mounted a 30 gallon soda acid chemical tank on it.

1912 First fire mains are put into the streets.

1926 The first motorized equipment is received by the 20 or so volunteer firefighters.

1930 Theodore (Do-Do) Baxter becomes Chief with A.J. Smith becoming Chief the next year.

1930's Was rough for the Fire Department due to the Great Depression. The Fire Department was mostly disbanded.

1935 This year brings a new Fire Chief, Sam Eernisse. He injects new life and builds morals, which is very low. Mr. Eernisse remained Chief until his illness.

1936 The City orders a new 1937 Boyer 500 GPM Pumper and takes the retired 1926 Chemical Fire Engine and turns it into a garbage truck.

1947
Brazoria County gives the fire department a new fire truck to protect the rural area around Alvin. That same year, R.E. Ripley was elected as Assistant Chief and serves as Acting Chief for the sick and bed ridden Sam Eernisse.
 
1955 Fire Department made and sold tamales on Election Day. Made 144 dozen in one night. Proceeds went towards a Grass Truck. 
 
1956 Fire alarm installed in Greens Café (24hrs) at Sealy and Hardy. Calls came into café and worker pushed button to sound the alarm. Firemen called café with a color code to find the location and type of call.   

1958 Wesley Eernisse, son of Sam Eernisse becomes Chief. That year, the department purchased a tank truck, an equipment truck, and the first bunker gear.

1960 The Fire Department celebrates its first banquet.
 
1967 Received new Tank Truck - $11,609
 
1969 The City hires Olan Dyson as the first career Firefighter, requiring him to maintain fire stations and all equipment. 
 
1970 Gave fire dog (Pretty Boy) to Olan Dyson.
 
1973 First meeting for Ladies Auxiliary.

1975 Bob McNeely is elected Chief and purchases a new first line 1000 GPM Pumper.
 
1978 Entered 411 retirement plan. 

1979 The second son of Sam Eernisse, Donald, became Chief. He adds a second fire station, remodels Station #1 and purchases a rescue truck
 
1982 Made motion to sell Old No. 2 (Failed)

 

1983 Sold pool table to Monsanto for $100.

 

1984 Stopped parking cars at school. Received three (3) E-Ones @ $128,562 each, totaling $385,656. Station #2 was dedicated. 

 

1986 Bought Rescue Truck for $68,000.

 

1987 First Honor Guard.

 

1988 The Fire Department starts to develop its' own Fire Training Facility.

 

1993 Received Ladder Truck.

 

1994  Physicals are required to enter Fire Department.

1996 The membership is at 65 with one at forty-eight years of service. Donald Eernisse retires after 48 years of service, Rex Klesel is elected Fire Chief and Kendell Hunting as Assistant Fire Chief.

1997 The Alvin Volunteer Fire Department received its Incorporation Status.

1998 The County purchases a 1000 GPM pumper for the fire department.

1999 20th Anniversary of Share-A-Toy Program. Parking lot was added across the street from Station #1.
 
2000 New badges are designed and purchased.

2004 Voters passed formation of Emergency Service District #3 on unincorporated areas around Alvin to provide funding for Fire & E.M.S. service. The Fire Department receives a grant of over $100,000 to replace their 30 year old Self Contained Breathing Apparatus with new ones that are half the weight of the old ones.

2005 Full-Time Administrator Rex W. Klesel, is added to department and Fire Marshal's office is moved from Police Department under direction of the Administrator.

2006 The Department purchased a 3,000 Gal. tanker/pumper to replace the 1978 tanker, that was purchased used, from a local chemical plant. This replaced tanker was then donated to the Elmwood Fire Department.

2007 Rex Klesel is elected as 4th Vice President of the State Fireman's and Fire Marshals Association. Station #3 is built and opened at a cost of $1.2 million dollars.

2008 Purchased two Crimson Pumpers. First County Fire Marshal hired - Al Priselac.

2009 Sold two old E-1 pumpers to Galveston County devastated by Hurricane Ike. Received new ISO Rating of 2 in the City and 8-B in the County. Received third Crimson Pumper.  

2010
Celebrated 50th Annual Awards Banquet.

2011 Rex W. Klesel was installed as State Fireman Fire Marshals' Association President. Martin Vela left the City of Alvin as Fire Marshal and took the position of the Brazoria County Fire Marshal. Alvin Fire Department received a 4 year SAFER Grant for $292,000 for Firefighter recruitment and retention. Fire Department purchased Life Insurance for all Fire Department members. Age limit was changed from 45 to 55.

2012 Olan Dyson retired from the City of Alvin after 43 years of dedicated service. He will continue to be a volunteer firefighter for the Fire Department. Jim Cargile was hired as Firefighter; vacancy created when Olan Dyson retired. Critical Illness policy was funded for all firefighters. As Rex Klesel completed his year as President of SFFMA, he signed the contract to purchase land in Austin for new state office.

 

2013 State Certification rules changed to require written and skills testing. Fire Department established the "Chiefs Award". 

 

2014 Ladies Auxiliary purchased cooler and rehab supplies for new Rescue Truck. State Firefighters and Fire Marshals Association (SFFMA) opened new office building in Austin. EKGs added to new member physicals. Radiation monitors (Geiger Counter) put on Rescue Truck. Fire Department voted to donate $1,500.00 to rebuild the Firefighter's Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol in Austin. 

 

2015 Fire Department approved funding to have bronze bell refurbished and mounted at Fire Station #1. Long Range Station Needs/Replacement Committee was formed. Old #2 was overhauled - pump, brakes, and transmission. Girl Scouts collected bottled water at HEB for the fire department, a total of 505 cases. All full members of the fire department rang the bronze bell at Station #1. Boy Scout Troop 400 built LPG burn prop at fire field. 

 

2016 Switched department text paging system to Active911.

 

2017 Boy Scout Troop replaced floor in burn building at the fire training field. Hurricane Harvey floods the city and surrounding areas, multiple water rescues:

  • 32 Volunteer Firefighters and 5 Staff
  • 117 Calls - 65 City - 52 County 
  • 185 Citizens Rescued - 105 City - 80 County

Robert Beard passes away after serving the Alvin VFD for 61 years, 7 months.

 

2018 Property for new Station #1 has been purchased and RFQ (Request for Quote) for architect submitted. Changed the Honor Guard uniforms (Bell caps, red rope and ascots). Department has ten (10) members trained to fly the drone.

 

2019 Assistant Fire Chief Kendall Hunting hired as the part-time paid Assistant Fire Administrator. Groundbreaking ceremony for new Station #1 held November 16th. 

 

2020 Land clearing and civil work started for new Station #1. All training, business meetings and Fire Department, and Ladies Auxiliary events were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. New Ladder truck is ordered. 

 

2021 Banquet is pushed back to May, only inviting limited guests, due to COVID-19. Ordered new pumper funded by grant, ESD #3 and city. 

City of Alvin Texas Logo


Alvin City Hall
216 West Sealy
Alvin, Texas 77511
281-388-4200


Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday - 7:00 AM to

6:00 PM
Closed: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday


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