Fire


 

The Hennessey Fire Department was organized shortly after the town site was established. The early
department consisted of a few volunteers and a fire hose permanently attached to the water system
and was located in the 300 block of S. Main St. in the current location of the Hennessey Water
Department Building.

In the event of a fire on Main St. or in close proximity the volunteers would respond and pull the
pre-connected hose to the fire.

The volunteers soon realized that a better method was needed and a “chemical cart” was purchased.
This apparatus was nothing more than a large chemical fire extinguisher mounted on a two-wheel
cart and could be pulled by hand to the location of a fire. This was Hennessey’s first mobile fire
equipment.

In the late teens the town purchased a “real” fire truck mounted on a Ford Model T chassis. Unfortunately the
details of this truck are unknown.

In 1930 the town bought a brand new Reo Speedwagon with a Boyer fire apparatus mounted on it. This truck was
an open cab pumper with a tank and pump and carried all the ladders, axes, hoses and other equipment. It’s
been said that the firemen would get the truck out and drive it all over town with no problem but when there
was a fire the truck frequently wouldn’t start and would have to be pulled to the location!

                                                                                    

The fire truck was housed in a small garage located at Town Hall on north Main St.

In 1950 the town replaced the Reo with a 1950 Chevrolet truck with a Boardman Fire Apparatus capable of pumping
500 Gallons per minute! This truck was the first fire truck with an enclosed cab.

In 1962 two major developments occurred. The first was that a bond issue was passed which was used to build a
new fire station and jail on east Second St. The fire station was now big enough for two trucks! The second
development was that a Rural Fire Association was formed and the local farmers raised money to buy an old Army
“6X6” truck with a 1,000-gallon tank and a pump to be used for rural fires.

Along comes 1968 when a new Chevrolet cab-over style truck with a Boardman Fire Apparatus was purchased. This
truck boasts two hose reels, a 750-gallon per minute pump and all new hoses and accessories. This truck is used
today as a backup pumper for in town fires. The cost of this truck was approximately $20,000.


In 1984 the Town Board of Trustees was approached by firemen to construct a new building. With the help of
federal grant a new six thousand square foot building was built with room for eight apparatus!

With the 1968 truck becoming obsolete, the firefighters request purchase of a new pumper in 1990. This was a
controversial proposition due to the cost but in 1991 a new pumper was approved by a 3-2 vote of the Town Board
and a new Emergency One Pumper with a 1,250-gallon per minute pump was added to the small fleet at a cost of

$154,000. This allowed us to obtain new insurance ratings for everyone in town and the citizens has saved
thousands of dollars on property insurance because of its purchase.

             


Due to skyrocketing costs of equipment and maintenance the Hennessey Rural Fire Association was dissolved and the
“rural” fire department was turned over to the town.

Three brush pumpers have since been acquired; one 1997 model and two 2006 models. They operate with a new
3,000-gallon tank truck purchased in 2012 to provide fire protection to the 325 square miles the Hennessey Fire
Department responds to in the rural area. Hennessey Fire Department protects the largest area of property in
Kingfisher County. This truck was funded with Kingfisher County Sales Tax revenue at a cost of $255,000.

In 2011 a new pumper/rescue truck was added to the fleet as well at a cost of $305,000. This truck allows the
department to respond in town with an additional 1,250 gallon per minute pumping capability and allows some of
the most modern equipment available to respond to vehicle accidents and other rescue type calls.

                           


From it’s humble beginning with nothing more than a hose located at the end of Main St. the Hennessey Fire
Department has grown to a modern, well equipped, well trained entity proudly serving the citizens of Hennessey
and the surrounding community.