The Bryan Fire Department was established on July 5th, 1871, incorporated by the State of Texas as Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The Department consisted of one hand drawn ladder truck with six ladders ranging from 12 to 14 feet long, pike poles, axes, a pull down hook and chain and twelve leather buckets.
On June 3rd, 1881, Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 amended their charter and reorganized as Protection Engine Company No. 1, City of Bryan, Texas.
One month earlier, a committee had been appointed to raise funds for the purchase of a steam fire engine. That fire engine turned out to be the first piece of American La France fire apparatus to come to Texas.
With the purchase of the steamer, a major problem faced the volunteers - the Company did not have sufficient funds to buy their own horse team. A standing reward of $5 was offered to the first team to arrive at the fire house to handle the propelling chores when called to duty. A reward of $1 was offered to the second team that arrived.
In 1914, the first piece of motorized equipment was purchased and in 1921, the Company hired its first full-time employee. The employee was on duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day and was paid a "none too attractive" salary. When he wanted to take a day off, he had to pay for a replacement. The second full-time employee was hired in 1928 and by 1960, the Department had grown to 28 full-time employees and one volunteer.
Today, the Bryan Fire Department employees over 100 full-time firefighters and staff that operate out of five fire stations. The Department has specialized teams trained in building collapse, confined space, high angle rescue, lost person/wilderness search, trench rescue, and water rescue.
We are proud of our history and the service of our forefathers. We plan to continue the commitment and dedication they showed in serving the citizens of Bryan.