Odessa Fire Department History

Established in 1927

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Odessa Fire Department Trivia

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  1st Fire Chief? Robert Morgan Neil
  1st Fire Engine Driver? George Shows
  1st Volunteer Firefighters? P. J. Hubbard, A. J. Burkes, W. P. Scott, Pat Walsh, Sam McCowan, Joe McCowan, George Shows, Emery Jones, C. H. Stevenson, J. H. Price and C. H. Slaughter.
  Odessa Fire Department was established on? September 20, 1927
  1st four paid Firefighters? Chester Frady, Chunky Hendrick, Oliver Moody and Ovid Bagby.
  How much were they paid? Their salary  was $80.00 dollars per month.
  Did volunteers get paid? The volunteer firefighters were paid $1.00 dollar for each day time run and a $1.50 for each night time run.
  1st Fire Engine? 1927 Buffalo Fire Truck
  When did the OFD end the volunteer status and become full paid department? 1945
  1st to have Jaws of Life? Odessa Fire Department was the 1st in the State of Texas
  1st to have the Emergency 911 system? Odessa Fire Department was the 1st in the State of Texas
  1st State Certified Ambulances? Odessa Fire Department
  1st Fire Engine Mechanic? Ed Leverton
  1st EMS Medical Director? Dr. Robert Rowntree
  1st Paramedic program in Texas? 1st was Houston; 2nd was Dallas and Odessa was 3rd in the State to have Paramedics
  1st Hispanic Firefighter?  
  1st Hispanic Captain? Johnny Orona
  1st Hispanic Assistant Chief? John Alvarez
  1st African-American Firefighter?  
  1st African-American Captain? Don Dangerfield
  1st Female Fire Inspector?  
  1st Female Assistant Fire Marshall Merion Sims
  1st African-American Assistant Fire Marshall Merion Sims
  1st Female Fire Marshall Sally White
  1st Female Firefighter/Paramedic Emily Patterson - remarried and became Emily Johns