Odessa Fire Department History

Established in 1927

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By 1950 the Odessa Fire Department was making 500 runs a year and had 4 Fire Stations.

In April of 1950
the firefighters moved to The Second Central Fire Station located at 210 N. Lincoln. At this time the department had 7 Fire Engines; 5 pumper trucks and 2 booster trucks. As a firefighting crew they had 51 firefighters. The Fire Chief is Charlie Meadows, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Edmiston, Fire Captains; A. B. "Dutch" Shows, J. T. Turner, G. G. Jernigan, Leroy Patrick, J. A. McKandless and W. J. "Bill" Childress. Fire Marshal was L. L. Withrow and the two Fire Inspectors were Bill Shell and N. F. McKernery. The firefighters worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off and were paid $220.00 dollars plus a $30.00 dollar cost of living bonus per month.

One of the biggest additions to the department at this time was the 100 foot aerial ladder truck the city council agreed to purchase for $35,000 dollars. Odessa's City Manager Casey Fannin stated, "With the arrival of this truck our fire department will be qualified to handle any fire situation that may arise, bar none." The City Manager went on to say, "Odessa has the most efficient firefighting unit of any city it's size, with experienced personnel to match."



By 1951 the Odessa Fire Department was making 538 runs a year.

Another substation called Fire Station # 3 located at 7th and Dixie (County Road East) was built in 1951.






Fire Station # 5
was built in 1955 at 38th & Dixie






In 1957 the Odessa Fire Department after making so many oil field fires, put together the " Fire Research and Development Center". This gained world recognition and was visited by personnel from 15 States and 3 foreign countries. Every conceivable type of oil field fire was reproduced on the Ector County Coliseum grounds. The firefighters fought these fires and practiced different techniques as Chemist researched chemicals to see what type of foam and what firefighting tactic would be most effective against oil field fires. Due to the high cost of oil products the "Fire Research and Development Center" only lasted a few years. Cardinal Industries & Odessa Fire Department Developed a new foam called Emulsiflame, This proved to be the best chemical agent for smothering the largest and hottest fires the oil field can dish out.


Fire Station # 6
was built in 1959 at Brentwood & Grandview