AFD History

Historic Photograph of Fire House OneOur History

The Abilene Volunteer Fire Department

  • Abilene was founded on March 15, 1881, and the first organized steps toward fire protection were the stationing of water wagons in the business districts with a few buckets for emergency use. 
  • A major fire swept through the business district in August of 1881, which prompted the Bucket Brigade to be formed with S.H. Levell as Fire Chief.
  • The Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. was formed, and a hook and ladder truck (wagon) was the first piece of equipment purchased, though the men who worked in the company served without pay.
  • The Rescue Hose Company No. 2 and the Star Hose Company No. 3 were organized in March of 1886, and all three companies merged to create the Abilene Volunteer Fire Department. George W. Jalonick was elected fire chief.
  • The Clinton Hose Company No. 2 was organized by Chief J.J. Clinton in 1900 to train boys to fill vacancies in the main unit
  • A combination Seagraves horse and laddar wagon and two more horses are purchased in 1907, but the biggest advance in equipment was an auto fire engine purchased in 1913. The engine carried 1000 feed or fire hose and 550 gallon per minute pump more than doubled the pressure of their existing wagon.
  • When Chief J.J. Clinton passed in 1922, the Abilene Volunteer Fire Department was closed, and the City of Abilene set up a full-paid crew.

The Abilene Fire Department

  • The first AFD Cadet academy graduated in 1958 with sixteen recruits. The men were given five weeks, or 200 hours, of basic training before being assigned to active duty.
  • Fire Station #7 was opened on North 10th on February, 1959.

ISO Class 1 BadgeAFD Today

The Abilene Fire Department is a full service fire department that responds to calls involving fires, medical emergencies, hazardous materials, and rescue situations within the city limits of Abilene. AFD will provide mutual aid to Dyess Air Force Base and surrounding counties. When an emergency event occurs it is the role of the Fire Department to arrive on the scene as quickly and safely as possible in order to provide assistance and mitigate the emergency.

The Abilene Fire Department responds to over 15,000 calls annually. AFD provides paramedic level care to ensure that the community receives the best possible EMS service. Fire Prevention helps ensure that building and fire codes are followed, and businesses are kept up to date on fire code issues. The Pre-Fire Planning Program utilizes fire companies to identify the general layout of commercial buildings, as well as any target hazards and utility locations. Fire investigators ensure all fires are thoroughly investigated and the people that commit these types of crimes are brought to justice in a timely manner. Public Education trains businesses, citizens, and children in fire safety and the use of fire extinguishers.

The Abilene Fire Department works hard to create a safe environment for its citizens and surrounding communities. The Abilene FIre Department is proudly rated as an ISO Class 1 Department, one of only 60 nationwide. The Abilene Fire Department provides advanced life support services, alongside our third-party transport provider, to meet the needs of our citizens. Our medical director oversees medical operations, training, protocols, and QA/QI processes, so as to provide the highest level of emergency care possible.