Odessa Fire Department History

Established in 1927

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"It will only be for about two weeks," the late Mayor A. J. Burks told Charlie Meadows, then an employee of the city's water department. "That was back in January 1943," Meadows recalls, "and they just wanted me to take over the fire department until they got someone else,"  

But things that have happened since Meadows took that "temporary" job would indicate no one was looking. During Meadows tenure as Fire Chief, the department has grown from a one-man, one-truck brigade to an 80 man, 12-truck unit which has spread out to cover the entire city. A native of San Angelo who came to Odessa at the age of three, Meadows never intended to be a firefighter, much less the head of the fire department which operates on a $426,024 yearly budget.


In 1944 the Odessa Fire Department was made 175 runs, and in 1945 the Fire Department made 208 runs.


In 1945 Odessa had grown too much for the small half paid and half volunteer Fire Department. The City's population had grown to about 12,000. Meadows went to the City Council and ended the volunteer fire department. He added 8 more men bringing the total firefighters up to 12.




A substation called Fire Station # 2 located at South Grant and May was built in 1947 to allow faster response to South Odessa. Now there was a fire station on both sides of the railroad tracks.



     By 1947 the Odessa Fire Department was making 362 runs a year.





By 1949 the 1st Fire Station # 4 was built  at the Corner of Golder & Kermit Hwy

 You can see W. T. Barrett Stadium to the left and behind the Fire Station.