History of the MFD
For the first 27 years of its existence, the village of Moore had very little protection from the disaster of fire. Public water well was dug at the intersection of Main and Broadway, shortly after the town was founded. When a fire occurred the entire town rallied to help, setting up a bucket brigade line from the well to the fire scene.
Early years of reporting fire alarms were given by firing three pistol shots. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, after the town had a fire station, alarms were given by a piercing siren, subsequently replaced by the present telephone-alert system.
On July 18, 1916, the Moore Volunteer Fire Department was organized. As it is today, it was considered a high honor to be admitted to membership. Membership of the Volunteer Fire Department was normally kept to 20 members, and there was always a long list of applicants. The first Fire Chief was Chief Paul R. Simms.
On November 20, 1916, the Town Council passed a resolution to purchase a Badger chemical fire engine, which was hand drawn. It was purchased for $50 down and $50 upon arrival in August 1917.The next piece of firefighting equipment was a Model-A Ford truck that was rebuilt by Fire Chief Simms and kept in a garage next to his Barber Shop on South Broadway. September 1918, the Town Council approved construction of a 10’ x 10’ fire house located at approximately 109 East Main Street.
In the 1930’s the Town Council established the City of Moore Firefighters Pension Fund which provided retirement for firefighters after 20 years of service. The Moore Fire Department transitioned to ‘full pay’ status in 1963 and the volunteers were phased out as they had retired. The last volunteer firefighter was Howard Boatman, Jr. who retired in December 1977. James L. Clark was the first ‘full pay’ firefighter for the City of Moore in 1963.
In the mid 1940’s a bond issue was passed to replace the old station built in 1918 at 109 East Main Street. In 1947 a 1941 Ford fire engine was acquired from a deactivated prisoner of war camp in Alva, OK. The original price was $4306.53; however, after more than two years of legal problems the City of Moore only paid $1710.
In 1964, Central Fire Station was remodeled and a second floor was added to house paid firefighters. Fire Station No. 2 was constructed in 1970 at 725 NW 12th Street, and Fire Station No.3 was constructed in 1976 at 1805 S Eastern St.
In 1977 the department’s firefighting equipment valued at more than a quarter million dollars. It included five pumping engines, two grass tankers, two rescue units, two Chief’s cars, and one pickup truck.
Currently, the Moore Fire Department has grown to 71 members. There is the Fire Chief and Deputy Chief, three members within the Fire Marshal’s office, and 66 shift personnel who rotate working 24 hour shifts. The department expanded in 2010 by constructing one new Fire Station and relocating two Stations. Through generous donations of local citizens, the department was able to obtain land near 2901 S Sunnylane Rd to relocate Fire Station No. 3. Also a generous donation was made to obtain land for the construction of a new Fire Administration and Fire Station No. 1 south of SW 19th St at 2400 S Fritts Blvd. Fire Station No. 4 is located at 1350 North Bryant Ave. All four Fire Stations are strategically located across the City of Moore to provide to the citizens with the best possible protection. The fire apparatus include: six pumping engines, 2 aerial apparatus, four brush pumpers, one command vehicle, one training division vehicle, three inspection vehicles, a mobile fire prevention trailer, and a Regional Hazardous Materials unit that was provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Fire Service in general has changed over the years to include responding to not only fires, but also responding to medical calls. The Moore Fire Department responds to over 4,300 medical, fire, and miscellaneous calls annually; of which include: medical emergencies, vehicles accidents, fire alarms, gas and electric utility incidents, and hazardous material incidents.
Paul Simms – 1916 – 1947
Oscar McBride – 1947 – 1954
E. L. Janeway – 1955 -1960
Dave Jantz – 1961-1962
James L. Clark – 1962 – 1965
Lloyd H. Grissom – 1965 – 1972
Lawrence W. Woodard – 1973 – 1981
Johnny Knight – 1982 – 1994
Charles Stephens – 1994 - June 29, 2012
Gary Bird- June 30, 2012 - Present