History of Wylie Fire Department
Unfortunately, there is not much written history for the first two decades of the department's existence. Apparently many of the records of that time were water damaged and thrown away when the City Hall was flooded in 1982.
The fire department was reorganized in the mid-'30s. In 1934, a Ford chassis was purchased, and the body and components were built in Wylie. This truck was in service for 30 years. The fire department was determined to become a progressive department in the 1950s. Much can be credited to the leadership of O.W. Hampton, fire chief during the period. A new fire station was completed in October 1950, located on the lot directly north of city hall of the time.
The 1960s saw several new pieces of apparatus. Two 1947 General-Detroit fire trucks were purchased during this time, one of those being the beloved "General" that is used to this day as a parade vehicle. The uniforms of this time were white jump suits with duty hats.
The 1970s brought even more progress, with personnel starting to wear bunker coats and boots purchased from Dallas Fire Department. The first SCBAs were placed in service in the mid-'70s.
The 1980s saw the upgrade of new equipment and a new fire station constructed at 1401 S. Ballard, under the direction of Chief Larry Allen. Auto extrication and fire extinguishment methods improved significantly during the mid-'80s.
The 1990s was a time of transition for the fire department. The first paid fire chief, Jim Lynch, was hired in early 1991. The first three paid firefighters were hired on Jan. 20, 1992. Chief Shan English was hired early in 1994 and ushered in a decade of change for the fire department. The first paid fire inspector was hired in December 1994. The first apparatus with an aerial ladder was placed in service in 1996. This vehicle was also the first to have a compressed air foam system (CAFS) on board and the beginning of the Quint concept. At this time Wylie was the first fire department in the state to utilize the full advantages of a CAFS fire apparatus.
The City of Wylie and the fire department again made history in 2001 when it became the smallest department in the nation to obtain an ISO class rating of 1. The first full-time fire marshal was hired in 2003. After the WTC attacks of 2001 there was a push for specialized services within counties and states. With Wylie bordered by two lakes and several other areas, the department decided to assume the responsibility of providing regional swift water and dive team responses. WFR is one of only a few departments owning hovercrafts that are used for swift-water rescues. Another area of specialization that the department has taken on is hazardous materials. Personnel are well trained and well equipped, and the department owns a fully stocked trailer that is utilized as both a transport trailer and a heated and cooled mobile command post. The Hazardous Response Team responds to surrounding county incidents and supports several smaller cities. On Feb. 25, 2009, the department opened and moved into the new Fire Station 3, a state-of-the-art facility that ushered in the future of the fire department.
Through the years firefighters have come and gone. We have also slowly added to the roster, pushing the total number of personnel over 54. It is from these humble beginnings that we have become the progressive department we celebrate today.