My Visit to Houston Fire Department

Houston House 8

My family and I recently took a trip to Houston and Galveston Beach.  Well, like most firefighters, I like to stop in and see the local firefighters and to talk a little shop and to see what they have in the way of equipment.

We didn’t get to a Galveston station, but we did stop by Houston FD Station 8 in downtown Houston.

First, let me say that the men that were on duty that day were very nice and treated my family and me very well.  My kids, being used to the firehouse setting, ran crazy and were all over the trucks; with adult supervision of course.  Thanks to all of the guys on that day, you know who you are.

No matter where I go, I always learn something new and interesting about that particular department. Whether it be about the house we are visiting, the equipment, operations or historical information, each place has it’s own story and way of doing things.

Two person pike pole.

This picture shows a two person pike pole that HFD has mounted to the front of this engine.  It was explained that it is used on buildings that have some very “tough” walls, like double plaster and lathe that back up to each other.  This pole allows two firefighters on each side to double the force of the pole.  I had never seen one of these and was very interesting.

Firefighters, as we know, are all very creative in one way or another.  The next picture shows a hood that HFD wears.  I had never seen one of these either, but a HFD firefighter came up with this concept and is now produced by gear manufacturers.  It is a hood that is made of the same material as the coat and pants.  It is lined the same and is quite a bit thicker than the traditional nomex hood.

Inventive hood style.

They didn’t seem to mind the hoods too much and indicated that it really keeps the heat off of your ears.  They also explained and were aware of the ability to get deeper into buildings and the associated hazards when we are so well insulated.

Another piece of equipment they have is an old reserve pumper that has been converted into a ceremonial truck.  This truck is used only for funerals and the honor guard mans this vehicle along with an SUV that accompanies it.

This truck is designed to hold a casket and the pall bearers.  As you can see, they have placed axes on each side and is a very attractive apparatus.  They use this for LODD, active that pass away off duty and for retirees.  It is a great tribute to our fallen Brothers and Sisters.

Honor Guard Apparatus

The trip was fantastic and I can’t say enough about the guys who spent the time to talk to us and show us around.  If you ever get to Houston, stop in and see the men at the 8’s.

Stay safe and take care.

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Bertie Shiver Johnson
Cleveland School Fire of 1923
I have read this story over and over. I do genealogy and think I have some relatives..doing more research. Thanks for putting this out there.
2015-09-29 21:40:23
Jim lang
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Direct result of lowering the Standards also and giving everyone a chance! The Job is no longer a calling it's just a Job to many these days! No more Pride Tradition Brotherhood etc etc....
2015-09-20 18:21:25
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Saya setuju dengan pendapat dan pengalaman anda. Pekerjan rutin seorang petugas pemadam kebakaran adalah berlatih dan terus berlatih. Dan apabila di antara teman petugas pemadam kebakaran disini yang mempunyai materi latihan boleh kah saya meminta materi latihan pemadam kebakaran itu ? Salam kenal dari saya Petugas pemadam kebakaran bandara kualanamu international Medan Sumatera Utara Indonesia.
2015-09-20 17:13:40
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Two years ago I was being trained and tested on required performance. I was able to do all but a duties. I attended every training session, asked questions and researched matters related to fire fighting. I couldn't drag another fire fighter and I had trouble "throwing" a ladder from ground to roof. I was released…
2015-09-20 16:35:03
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Excellent article, after 30 years on the job I agree. What has always bothered me was why do firefighters too often find themselves in trouble? Why are we on an ice covered roof when we could more easily and safely removed glass from the second story. Why open up a confined space of decades dried…
2015-09-20 14:10:34

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