Lubbock Fire Crews Engineer Revolutionary Designs - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/3/08

Lubbock Fire Crews Engineer Revolutionary Designs

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In the early 1900's, Lubbock had its first major fire, but the town had no firefighting equipment. As a result, the Lubbock Mercantile Company burned to the ground. Citizens called a mass meeting to organize a volunteer fire department in August of 1909.

About 15 members made up the first department.  Charlie Frederick was the first fire chief. He served for two months before W.E. Twitty and L.H. Simpson were appointed to fill in, alternating years from 1911 to 1915.  Twitty remained the fire chief until 1924.

The city purchased its first motorized equipment in 1915. At that time, the station was located at 1103 Main Street and housed the fire station and city hall. In 1924, the department moved to a new, modern station at 10th Street and Texas Avenue. They purchased a new ladder engine, and changed from all volunteer to a partially paid department.

Three years later, Lubbock firefighters began to use revolutionary techniques, using special hoses and fog nozzles. The department made the nozzles because there were none on the market. These revolutionary techniques are the basic principles of present day operations.

"Chief Twitty's innovative ideas - he had his booster trucks and at every fire he had two of them there. So, you had four hose lines instantly," Dr. Maurice Hood said. 

Hood spent a lot of time at the Lubbock Fire Stations growing up. His father W.H. Hood spent 47 years with the department. Maurice was even made an honorary fire chief with the Lubbock Department.

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