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Odessa Fire Rescue History

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Fire House Logos

By Josh Herron 

Josh Herron

The idea of the firehouse logos started when our crew was sitting around the kitchen table at Central talking about what we could do to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Odessa Fire Department. It’s a very big deal and we wanted to come up with something that would last long after we are retired. Firehouse logos was the first thing that came to mind.

A lot of firehouses across the nation have their own logo to represent that firehouse. We did Centrals logo first in hopes that it would catch on with the other firehouses. Once the shirts were made, other crews wanted to know who did the logo for us so they could do it for their firehouse as well.

And before we knew it, Chief offered to use donation money to pay for each logo and then all 9 firehouses had a logo to be able to show their pride in their firehouse. Each firehouse has been approved to wear these on duty.

We’re also starting to see custom coffee mugs showing up in the firehouse with these logos on them, logos painted in the firehouse, and some logos are on some of the fire apparatus. It’s brought a lot of pride to our department and a lot of pride and ownership for the personnel staffed at these firehouses. It was a long and fun process to watch these get created and it’s something that will be here for hopefully the next 100 years.

Logos of the past

Central Fire House


Central Firehouse: The house is nicknamed “The Stable” with Units nicknamed “Workhorse”.

From 1927 when Odessa Fire Department was formed until 1939, I’m not too sure where the original Central was located. In 1939, Central was located on the SW corner of 3rd and Lee and housed City Hall, Fire, Police, Jail and the municipal court. This location was used until 1949 when the new Central was built at 210 N Lincoln. It housed Fire, Police, Jail and Municipal Court. This was a true firehouse. 2 stories, fire poles, had to back in, a lot of history in that firehouse until it closed in 2008 when the new Central opened on 1100 W 2nd. The new Central has a fire pole from old central along with some other items. Central now houses our admin side, and our suppression side. On the suppression side; Battalion 1, Division 1, Truck 1, Rescue 1, Wildland 1, and Tanker 1 call Central home. Also, at central is 1 of 2 EUV’s as well as a couple of reserve medics.


Central named their units Workhorse for a couple reasons.

1) For quite some time, Truck 1 was tagged for just about any structure fire or major car wreck in the city with the other truck being located way out on Eastridge before Truck 6 was put into service.

2) If you’ve ever spent time at central, you know the work never stops, especially on Thursdays with all those units housed there.
 

With Truck 1 being named Workhorse, we were thinking of ideas for the design, and we noticed the firehouse actually looks like a horse stable, so we ran with it and named the firehouse The Stable and wanted to showcase that in the artwork. Central covers the downtown Odessa district and they can run as far west as 1053 and as far south as the crane county line. And when Wildland 1 and Tanker 1 goes, they can run anywhere. Recently Tanker 1 assisted midland fire with the Viking pools fire and Wildland 1 has gone as far as Kermit and Andrews to assist with large brush fires. A lot of moving parts at Central.

Fire House # 2

 

20 years after Odessa Fire Department was established, the original firehouse 2 was built. Built in 1947, it sat on the corner of South Grant and May and they operated out of that firehouse for 30 years until the current firehouse 2 was built in 1977 on Murphy, just west of Grandview. I’m not 100% sure what the old firehouse 2 currently is, but I know it is still standing on Grant and May.
 

Firehouse 2 protects the city’s south side. And I’m pretty sure they are the OG’s of firehouse subculture and pride (besides Central having memorabilia on display) in Odessa. They were the first sub-station to paint their firehouse and hang up some original OFD memorabilia. Firehouse 2 will become the oldest operational firehouse in the city when 6’s new home opens this summer.
 

They quickly became "Deuces Wild”. And as that district grows and will only get bigger with 6’s move up north, the Deuces will only become more Wild. They have an extremely diverse first due district ranging from small, 900 square foot pier and beam homes, big oilfield storage warehouses, all the way to the power plant. Firehouse 2 is almost like the forgotten house. They’re a small house, they take care of their business, and you don’t hear much from them, which isn’t a bad thing. But when the tones drop and it’s game time, you’ll quickly see why the Deuces are Wild (legend has it they have been first on scene at fires they should have been second or even third due to.) They come in clutch when it matters the most. They chose to depict that in this logo with the slick zoot suit, holding 4 blank cards indicating the that you don’t know what cards he holds in his hand; with that sly smirk showing that stealth nature of “I have a wild card in my hand, be ready”, and the low helmet covering his eyes so you can’t get a read on them, and they take pride in that.
 

The city’s south side should be extremely proud of their firehouse, and the men and women who serve there. 

Fire House # 3

 

In 1950, the city rebuilt an old residential house located at 11th and Center where the Boys and Girls club currently is, into a temporary firehouse to accommodate 2 fire engines while firehouse 3 was being constructed at 7th and Dixie. They used this house for a year until construction was completed on firehouse 3. In 1951, the move was made into the firehouse on the northeast corner of 7th and Dixie. I believe this building is still being utilized as Clover House. This firehouse was in service until 1980 when the current firehouse 3 was put in service.
 

 

In 1980, firehouse 3 made the move to east Odessa on the Northwest corner of east university and loop 338. Firehouse 3 is first due to the UTPB - The University of Texas Permian Basin and shares land with the campus. So, they made the decision to show their support to the community and the university by choosing a falcon as their theme. And fittingly, they named their firehouse the Falcons Nest. A fun little fact about firehouse 3, behind them they have a pond and a couple of palm trees. Its own little oasis. That pond has had a history of monster fishes being caught; as well as pranks, dares and challenges involving that pond. Firehouse 3 is very unique in that sense. The men and women that serve at 3’s have recently taken a lot of pride and ownership of their firehouse and are currently giving it a makeover by painting the firehouse the colors you see here in the logo. 

Also, Firehouse 3 may or may not have a local Jackalopes hockey legend as it’s captain.

 

Fire House # 4

 

Firehouse # 4, also known as War Wagon. 4’s covers a large portion of the west side, and they run as far west as Goldsmith for their first due territory. They also cover a large portion of the west side within the city limits as their first due territory. If there’s a structure fire anywhere in the county or city, you can almost guarantee 4 will be there. Historically, 4’s has been one of, if not the busiest firehouse in the city year after year; running close to, or over 3,000+ calls a year out of their house alone. It’s not out of the norm for them to run 20+ calls in a 24 hour period, it’s never ending. The Maltese shield he’s carrying with multiple arrows in it shows that never ending battle. Fittingly enough, they became The War Wagon. Ask anyone housed at 4’s, or who has spent time there, a lot of pride and ownership goes into that name. In the past, 4 has housed, and currently houses some of the best and most aggressive Firefighters, Paramedics, Engineers and Captains in the city.

The guys at 4 crushed this logo. One of my favorites!

Fire House # 5


Firehouse # 5 "Beast From The East"
 

Before Firehouse 5 moved to Eastridge and Billy Hext in 2001, it was located on the corner of 38th and Dixie and was one of the busiest houses in the city. Listening to those old war stories from the guys that spent some time at old firehouse 5, are gold. Now since moving east in 2001, 5 is the slow house. But year after year it increases in call volume with the growth seen out east.
 

"Beast From The East" has a few meanings behind it. First, Firehouse 5 houses 1 of 3 ladder trucks in the city. Second, although it’s the slow house, when 5’s gets something, it’s going to be legit. And lastly, 5’s first due territory is extremely diverse. There are single wide mobile homes, 20,000 square foot mansions, mid-rise hotels and bank buildings, all the way to a 90,000 square foot theater. It also houses HazMat 5, which is a regional hazmat response unit. 5’s covers a large territory that sometimes takes them to 1788 in midland county and as far north as Gardendale. The diversity of 5’s district makes it the "Beast From The East", and it only seemed fitting to have a gorilla represent The Beast.

Fire House # 6


Firehouse # 6 Midtown Madness.

The current Firehouse 6 is the oldest operational firehouse in the city. Built in 1959 on Brentwood and Grandview, Firehouse 6 houses Truck 6 and Rescue 6. Being located in the middle of town, it’s easy to understand why 6’s is known as Midtown Madness, especially during rush hour times. Firehouse 6 is continually one of the top 3 busiest firehouses in the city, and they take pride in that. Soon, 6’s will have a new home. Later this year, the new firehouse 6 will open a little over a mile north just west of Grandview on Penbrook behind Texas Roadhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings. With the move north, 6’s is likely to become even busier. The firefighters at 6 wanted to capture the pride of Odessa with their logo and utilized some of Odessa’s most iconic and recognizable buildings. An awesome touch to show the pride of the city.

Fire House # 7


Firehouse 7 is one of the best names on the department: "Sleepless Knights".

In 1963 the first firehouse for 7’s was built just west of Harless on 8th. They covered pretty much all of West Odessa by themselves. In 2008, 7’s moved to 16th and Harless to a bigger firehouse to house Engine 7, Rescue 7 and Tanker 7. 7’s still covers a very large portion of West Odessa and they run as far west as 1053 and sometimes as far south as Wilson’s corner. With a recent gps change to our response system, 7’s became the busiest firehouse in the city once again. 7’s now also houses Delta 1. Which is a quick response unit staffed with 2 firefighter/paramedics in an attempt to keep our fire apparatus more readily available. It's been a success. Sleepless Knights is a name that is easy to understand, especially if you’ve been housed out of 7‘s. West Odessa can be the modern Wild West and a majority of the time, those guys are running all night long. They captured that in this design with the Knights standing guard and the night sky behind them. Some nights you hate it, but some nights you love it. Regardless of how it goes, you’re always ready to get back after it! Just like 4’s, firehouse 7 housed and currently houses some of the best and most aggressive personnel in the city. The experience you can gain in 1 year at 7’s is probably more than what most people get in 5 years anywhere else. The guys at 7 really captured the pride and culture of their firehouse with this design.

Fire House # 8

The original firehouse 8 was built in the Lawndale area in 1984 and it sat on the SE corner of 91st and rainbow. The building is still there and is now used as a community center. In 2001, 8’s relocated to a little further south to Yukon, just east of Andrew’s highway. It houses Engine 8, Rescue 8 and Tanker 8. Firehouse 8 is neighbors with Schlemeyor field, Aerocare and the Commemorative Airforce Base. Having a bunch of aviation neighbors, 8’s logo captures that in using a P51 mustang fighter bomber. The P51 mustang in the logo was one of the first fighter/fighter bomber planes used in WW2 and most historical facts about them say they defeated every type of plane they encountered in combat. If you know 8’s first due district, they are faced with many different types of challenges such as very large wildland areas, long stretches of highway in 385 and the north loop, cookie cutter homes, large homes at Ratliff, trailer homes, abandoned homes, industrial and chemical facilities, you name it, it’s in 8’s district. And like the P51 mustangs, the firefighters at 8’s take on and defeat any challenge thrown at them. Firehouse is usually in the middle of the pack for call volume, but when something happens in 8’s district, buckle up! 8’s is also our hose servicing house. They are in charge of hose repairs for all firehouses in the city.

Fire House # 9

 

Firehouse 9 is slated to open this summer. With how much north park is blowing up, it was decided to put firehouse 9 north of town. It’ll most likely house an Engine, Rescue, and possibly some sort of Wildland unit. It’ll be on 87th and the East loop, next door to Dr. Lee Buice Elementary.

With no history of the firehouse since it’s new, it was decided to use the rich history of the land that firehouse 9 sits on to come up with the theme of 9’s. Also, a way to express our appreciation for the family donating the land to better serve our community’s growth.
 

The land was donated by the Ratliff and Hurt family. Harvey “Bud” Ratliff and his wife, Sara “Sallie” Whittenburg were 1 of 12 original families who settled in Ector County and purchased 640 acres of land on July 29th, 1903. They raised Hereford cattle on that land which was one of the earliest ranches in Ector County. The cattle you see in the logo represents this. There are 3 Hereford bulls to represent what I believe to be at least 3 generations the Ratliff Ranch has been in Ector County. Although, I do believe it is in its 4th generation. The Ratliff’s also had one of the first windmills in Ector County, and I believe that original windmill is still standing northeast of loop 338. That windmill is represented in the logo as well with the 9 in the middle of it. The Ratliff's were instrumental in the development of Odessa. The Ratliff's donated the land for the first Ranch School House in Ector County, and they helped build the school. Bud and Sallies eldest daughter, Mary Ratliff, married Sam Hurt. Sam and Mary had 2 children, Sam Hurt Jr and James “Buzz” Hurt. In 1960, brothers Sam and Buzz began to run the ranch. Sam Hurt was very active in the community and was elected to the ECISD board. They also donated to land for Schlemeyer Airport and numerous other developments including Ratliff Ranch Golf Links.
 

Today, the ranch is around 20,000 acres and is managed by James “Buzz” Hurt, Joe Hurt and Sally Bolton, Joe being very active in the community as well serving on the Water Conservation District Board. The original ranch house that Bud and Sallie built in 1903 still stands today and is occupied by their heirs. The Ratliff and Hurt family are instrumental to our city and community. So, it only seemed fitting to honor the rich history of the land and continue that Ranch Hands tradition. Also, you will see a Bison running with the Hereford cattle. That is a representation for community support of 9’s next door neighbor, Dr Lee Buice Elementary, who are the Bisons.