Odessa Fire Department History

Established in 1927

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When Bert Rabb became the 2nd Fire Chief in 1933, the fire truck was moved to the South West corner of  7th & Grant which is the location of a garage owned by J. H. Price and C. H. Stevenson. J. H. Price's son Norman Price later grew up to be a career firefighter with the Odessa Fire Department until he retired as a Battalion Chief. Bert Rabb owned a Service Station across the street on the South East corner of 7th & Grant.


The fire truck was kept at 7th & Grant until 1939 when the City decided to Appoint  Tom Harris as the 3rd
Chief and the first paid Fire Chief and hire 4 full time firefighters to work along side the other volunteer firefighters. The first four paid firefighters were Chester Frady, Chunky Hendrick, Oliver Moody and Ovid Bagby. Their salary  was $80.00 dollars per month. The volunteer firefighters were paid $1.00 dollar for each day time run and a $1.50 for each night time run.





Note: Chester Frady was the father of Claudette Frady whom married Roy Orbison.





The first Central Fire Station was built in 1939 to house the 1st four paid firefighters and our 1927 Buffalo fire engine and the 1939 American LaFrance fire engine. This was also a Police Station, City Hall and Municipal Court.




Firefighters sitting on the white 1939 American LaFrance fire engine is L to R; R. G. Dixon, Jim Massey, Oliver Moody, Fire Chief Tom Harris and Zada Anderson.

Firefighters sitting on the 1927 Buffalo fire engine is L to R; Chester Frady behind the wheel, L-R; Jack Speight, Ovid Bagby and Adell Laird.

Sitting on the Motorcycle is Odessa's 1st Motorcycle Officer  Jack Ellington