Recognizing a Firefighter
Years of Service :
Highlights with the Department and who he was
The fire department was stared with a single truck, 1951 International Pumper. Today we have 3 massive trucks and 1 tender with over 3500 gallons of water to fight a fire.
Grants have helped but not more than the community has. During our fundraisers the community helps to support our efforts in new equipment and materials to keep our community safe.
In 1980 the Downsville Volunteer Fire Dept was established. The 1st Fire Chief was Weldon Brandon. During the first couple of years, the one fire truck was all that the department had to work with. In 1982, the land for the department was donated by Justin Rosenfeld. During this time, leadership changed over to Willie Thomas Sr. as Fire Chief and John Weaver as the President.
Under Willie Thomas Sr, the following were also apart of the original Firefighters:
|Clifford Crow||Ricky Bettinger|
|Lacy Staten Jr||John Rodriguez|
|Asa Holmes||Lawrence Slaughter|
|Moses Hall||Melving Hansen|
|John A Weaver||Joe Stahl|
|Billy Ray Smith||Mitchell Smith|
|David Stodghill||Odale Thomas|
|Ronnie Thomas||Kerry Thomas|
|Willie Thomas Jr||Kelvin Thomas|
|Jessie Thomas||Jessie E Thomas|
(On Call Firefighter)
As time moved forward, the number of volunteers decreased. For many of the same reasons we face today, time was an issue. We have families and careers that require attention and Volunteering at the Fire Station become difficult. Kelvin Toliver remained loyal to the department and is still serving his community with us today. In 2006, a fresh set of Board Members and fresh faces as Volunteer Firefighters have helped the Fire Department continue to run.
Our current board now consist of
|Don Kunze||Sue Hansen|
|Willie Thomas Jr||Judy Bettinger|
In 2010, a Volunteer Firefighter moved into Downsville and was invited in as our new Fire Chief. Under the new leadership of Guy Smallridge, the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department went through a period of upgrades. Under, Guy Smallridge; the Fire Dept added volunteers taking the Department from 11 to 14 Volunteers. Downsville Volunteer Fire Department was also able to add a new addition to the Fire Station providing room for a small hall and extra space to park more Apparatus'. We were also able to get grants for a new truck from the Texas Foresty Service. Downsville received an International Truck with an 800 gallon tank. Continuing the success, Downsville also was able to receive a military Duece and 1/2. With the two largest trucks Downsville VOlunteer Fire Department have ever had, a new tender was required. During this time, a tender was acquired and Downsville now has a 2500 gallon tender to help with the operations of the 2 large Apparatus'. All these new vehicles and the Volunteers continued succes with acquiring updated Fire Protection Gear, such as helmets, coats, pants, boots, etc. As of March 1st 2016, Guy Smallridge stepped down as Fire Chief and passed the torch onto Candido Diaz.
|Candido Diaz||Pam Diaz|
|Felix Diaz||Don Diaz|
|Ben Diaz||Enrique Diaz|
|Kelvin Toliver||Alex Reeves|
|Matt Diaz||Nick Diaz|
|Stephen Diaz||Retta Smallridge|
|Bryan Beavers||Bill Burnside|
As of Saturday December 10, 2016; Downsville Volunteer Fire Department is still running strong and continuing to protect its community with Volunteers. We want to thank Judy Bettinger, Sue Hansen, and all those who had a hand in walking memory lane to produce a more accurate history of the Downsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Some of this information was found in a Waco Trib article dated Thursday January 27th, 1983 and was written by Lisa Neslony.