The fire department has played a vital role in this community since its organization in 1903. Yesterday and today, firemen are basically the same; local businessmen who leave their places of work, and citizens who dedicate their time away from their full time jobs out of the city to lend protection to people within the community when the signal sounds. Back then, ¬†they had little to no training.¬† A lot has changed in the fire service, but one thing that still makes us different from other departments is that we are mainly a volunteer department supplemented by limited paid staff. The firefighters of today are still business owners and homeowners who want to serve their community and protect the lives and property of the citizens. The difference is that they are highly trained to handle today’s complex fires and operate today’s sophisticated equipment.
The fire department had its first meeting hall on South Goliad Street on the square. The firefighters would eat once a month at the meeting hall. Once a year their wives would join them there for a dinner. The wives did the cooking and it was reported to always be enough food and desserts to feed an army.
A Family Thing-generations of service, brothers, father and son, etc.
The fire department is a brotherhood but it also has even stronger roots within our department. The department in the past and in the present consists of fathers, sons, uncles, and cousins. The tradition of firefighting is passed from generation to generation. Paul Merritt and his three sons Craig, Brett, Ron, and grandson Chad , Wayne Massey and his son Greg, James Radney and his son Aaron, are all currently firefighters together. Some of the past family members are Thomas Nalls and son Randy Nalls, Robert Smith and his grandson Michael Parker, James Cullins and his son Kenneth, Benny Gracy and his brother Dewayne Gracy, Billy Ray Sears and his son Mike, Weldon Daniel’s and his son Rod , Mark Poindexter and his son Andrew, his cousin Randy Lofland and his uncle Lenord McIntire, and the list could go on and on if we looked further back in the past.
Extraordinary Saves & Accomplishments
There have been many saved by firemen on motor vehicle extrications or by Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation. The fire department has also saved many pets from burning buildings and even preformed mouth to mouth on some.
The Rockwall fire department has taken part in many major tragedies. They assisted with the Delta 191 plane crash at DFW. Terry Garrett and Mark Poindexter have assisted many of the North Texas Fire and Police agencies, including in the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, and World Trade Center terrorist attack in New York City , by conducting Critical Stress Incident Management Debriefings. The fire department Scuba Dive Team has assisted the Texas Rangers in solving a murder case by finding the murder weapon.