The Converse Volunteer Fire Department had its beginning one cold night in January of 1952. On that night, a Converse residence was reduced to ashes while horrified citizens stood by helplessly. The anguish they experienced caused 23 of those citizens to meet shortly thereafter on January 15 to organize a volunteer fire department. Within a week, the constitution and bylaws were written and adopted, and a slate of officers were elected. Local business­men backed up the enthusiasm of those 23 by pledging $2,500 toward the cause. It was soon discovered, however, that the needed firefighting equipment would cost much more than had been collected. They decided that the only alternative was to build their own fire truck.

First Truck
The city purchased a used 1946 Dodge truck for $575. They immediately equipped it with a surplus water tank and hose, so no time would be lost in the event of a fire. They remodeled the old chassis to fit fire department needs. Finally, they added a 350-gallon water tank and fabricated a running board and steps. The entire job of assembling the truck was done at night. When it was completed, a proud citizenry stood back and admired their handiwork. That old Dodge had been transformed into a beautiful red fire truck, complete with decals, hoses, and sirens.

First Fire Station & Training
The next project was building a fire house. Through the efforts of volunteers, the city's first fire house was built for $1,600 instead of $6,800, as first estimated. Approximately 5,200 hours of work went into the construction of the two-truck building, which again took place mostly at night. This fire station has now been sold because of the new fire station located across the street.

Training the crew came next. In order to acquire the knowledge and techniques needed to train volunteer firefighters, A.J. Brucks and Ed J. Kneupper volunteered to attend special training for fire­fighters at A&M University in College Station, Texas.

The ever-present need for money and ways to earn it gave birth to our first annual sausage supper, carnival, and dance that same year on September 7. The record-breaking crowds who came from miles around brought in sufficient funds to pay debts incurred. Enough money was left over for purchasing other needed equipment, such as a five HP siren. In December of 1952, steps were also taken to incorporate the organization to relieve the department of suit liabilities.

For More Information
For additional history of the Fire Department, please view New Station and Ladies Auxiliary.