This is an excerpt from the book entitled, Nassau Bay Volunteer Fire Department - A Quarter Century of Service 1967- 1992. Written by Ron Nelson, retired member.
Early one morning in the fall of 1966, a fire broke out at the hotel on the corner of NASA Rd One and Point Lookout Drive. At the time it was known as the Crest Hotel and was famous for being the location where the major news networks covered the Space Program, (A big NBC sign in the window of the room on the northeast corner of the top floor was a familiar sight). At the onset of the fire the hotel manager called the Webster Volunteer Fire Department, which at the time provided fire protection to the communities of Nassau Bay and Swan Lagoon. But the Webster fire trucks were delayed getting to the fire because a train was blocking the intersection of NASA Rd One and Highway 3. Because of this delay a guest was forced to jump from a second floor window, he was fortunate to only break a leg.
Chuck Miller, at the time was the owner of the Texaco Station at NASA Rd One and Upper Bay Blvd. With 11 years of experience in fire fighting from Orlando Florida. He saw the smoke and responded to the hotel fire. He met with Webster Volunteer Fire Department Chief Denman. Chief Denman told Chuck the Nassau Bay area was growing too fast and that the Webster Volunteer Fire Department could no longer provide adequate fire protection. Chief Denman suggested that Chuck look into forming a volunteer Fire Department for Nassau Bay. Chuck did just that.
February 11th, 1967
On February 11th, 1967 the Nassau Bay Volunteer Fire Department was officially formed. Chuck Miller assembled a group of residents and elected the interim officers. Chuck was the first Fire Chief of the NBVFD. (He served as Fire Chief until December 1971.) The newly elected officers formed committees to investigate such items as incorporation, training, communications and equipment. Within three weeks, Chief Miller had made arrangments to lease a 1952, 750 gallon per minute, American La France pumper from the Houston Fire Department. A initial budget was presented to the Nassau Bay Homeowners Association in the amount of $14,400 dollars. (The City of Nassau Bay was not incorporated until June 1970.)
The first training the NBVFD received was from the Houston Fire Department. The first drill was held on February 28th, 1967. Captain F. J. Pratorus and Chief M. M. Jahnke of the Houston Fire Department met with the members and showed two films, then went out and Engineer R. O. Zimmerman led a guided tour around the pumper he had brought, which was similiar to the one the NBVFD would receive from Houston. For the next eleven weeks members were taken through every phase of fire fighting by thier Houston Fire Department instructors.
The NBVFD used the leased pumpers intil the City of Nassau Bay was incorporated in June 1970. The NBVFD presented a bid in the amount of $38,000 dollars to purchase a new pumper. The purchase was approved and in June 1971 a brand new Ward La France pumper was delivered. A second would follow in 1973.
The current fire station was built in 1980. Before that the NBVFD used numerous places to store it's equipment. A garage on the old hotel property and the city barn were our first two homes. The new pumpers were actually parked outside for some time until the current station was built.
39 Years Later (February 2006)
While alot has happened in the last 38 years, (way too much to document here) the NBVFD remains a group of dedicated volunteers, just like the first members who stepped up when they were needed, we continue to provide a much needed service for those we protect.
The NBVFD is a chartered corporation of The State of Texas and operates under the provisions of our By-Laws. More »
The current fire station is located at 120 Surf Court. We moved into a newly constructed building on Feburary 2008.. More »
Our apparatus includes three engines, one command vehicle, one utility vehicle, two boats and a retired military vehicle. More »
The Nassau Bay Volunteer Fire Department has averaged 234 responses a year over the last five years. Click to see a monthly breakdown.. More »