Fire Department Birthday

by Christa Lollis

For a hundred years Nacogdoches firefighters have been in the business of saving lives. The members of the 1908 department were strictly volunteer, but the heroic aspect of the job is still the same. "I think it's a big deal in any organization when you celebrate the century mark and you realize that you've been providing a service for a hundred years in the same way over and over everyday, 24 hours," Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger said.

It's obvious that the job of a firefighter is pretty unique, and they spent tonight showing the community how much they love their job. Turns out that's true whether you're on a ladder truck, or putting your horsepower back in the stable. "In 1908 they had horses and buggies that pulled the ladders and fire hose around. Obviously we're standing in front of a large modern fire engine now so certainly there have been some pretty big changes," Kiplinger explains. Pretty big is an understatement. The department got its first motorized truck in 1923, and have spent a century adding all the latest bells and whistles. But no matter what new tools they've gotten, the heart of the firefighter has remained constant. The chief says, "We everyday come to work and proudly serve them and we are so thankful to have the opportunity to come to work here and to serve the citizens of Nacogdoches as firefighters." That's what the 58 firefighters with the Nacogdoches fire department plan to do for at least the next 100 years.

The fire museum is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the department.  To schedule a tour contact the fire department secretary at (936) 559-2541.