If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the back of the Victoria Fire Department T-shirts, just under the word “Victoria,” you might have noticed that they proudly state “EST. 1871.”
The Victoria Fire Department will celebrate its 150th anniversary with an open house at Fire Station 4 from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6. This event will be free and open to the public. More details will be provided in the coming weeks.
For 150 years, the Victoria Fire Department has served Victoria through fire suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials response, swift water rescue, technical rescue, training, fire prevention, investigation and public education.
The department was formally organized in 1871 by C.R. Alden, a tradesman who had previous experience with volunteer fire organizations. At the time, the department operated with a used hand pumper purchased from Mobile, Ala.
The VFD’s roots go back slightly earlier to the formation of Victoria Fire Company No. 1 in 1869. This volunteer company only lasted a few months. The City of Victoria authorized the formation of a Downtown Engine House on June 5, 1870. That was when C.R. Alden laid the foundation for the current Victoria Fire Department.
Additional fire companies were established through the years, including Fire Company No. 1 (1882), Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 (1882-1883), Protection Hose Company No. 3 (1885), Mechanic’s Hose Company No. 4 (1893), and Salvage Corps Company No. 5 (1931).
For more information about the Victoria Fire Department, visit www.victoriatx.gov/fire or call 361-485-3450.