Hays County ESD No.5

Department History

Kyle Fire Department — Then & Now

logoThe Kyle Fire Department was formed soon after the town of Kyle itself in 1880. The membership of the department was divided up into three companies, a Hook and Ladder Company, a Bucket Brigade Company, and a Hose Company.

Around the same time, an annual tradition of sponsoring a picnic on San Jacinto Day, April 21st, was established. The department crowned its Queen on this day with the first Queen being Mrs. Mamie Word. And while we no longer crown a Queen, we treat all of our customers like Royalty.

In 1913, the city council purchased a fire engine and a large wheeled, hand towed, chemical type extinguisher, which the department still owns.

The next year, 1914, city council limited the number of members of the department to 22 but as a benefit of dedicated membership, the Volunteers were exempted from building and/or repairing the city’s streets.

In April of 1934, an overnight fire destroyed half of a downtown city block and killed a night watchman. As a result of this disastrous and deadly fire, the department was reorganized, new equipment was purchased, and new members were recruited and trained.

In 1952, a GMC pumper was purchased and placed into service with the department. After serving many years as a frontline piece of apparatus, this engine is now proudly used as a parade piece with the department and is affectionately called “Old 20.”

In 2006, a new chapter in the history of Kyle Fire Department began when the first full time, paid firefighter came on duty to help supplement the volunteers during daytime hours.

Today, the Kyle Fire Department is a career department made up of 54 paid employees, of which 45 work on a 3 shift – 24/48 schedule.

We respond to emergencies with a fleet of 3 Engines, 1 Quint, 4 Brush trucks, 1 Tender, 5Command vehicles, and 1 Squad truck.

As always, the Kyle Fire Department prides itself in being able to provide the highest quality emergency services, with state-of-the-art equipment, to an ever-growing population.