WACO, Texas — The Waco Fire Department celebrated a huge milestone on Monday. Over at Fire Station One, it celebrated its 150th birthday with the community.
There, they honored the department's legacy.
"To be part of such a great organization that's stood the test of time and hopefully we look forward to another 100 years," said Deputy Chief Robby Bergerson.
The Waco Fire Department was established in 1873. Waco Fire Historian Sean Sutcliffe said since then, the department has kept up with the needs of the growing city.
In the beginning, they started with one fire station and horse drawn buggies with fire dogs. Today, they have 14 stations sprawled throughout the city, as well as a fleet of fire engines so they could quickly get to those who may need their assistance.
"[The] department has modernized and grown and added hazmat, swiftwater technical rescue and EMS," Sutcliffe said.
The festivities highlighted these accomplishments, as well as those who served throughout the years, those currently serving and will serve in the future. The department's impact was felt by the community.
"It's an incredible legacy that they have established and continued with," said community member Jennifer Strickland. "They're always there, and they're dependable. And I'm grateful that we have them in our community."
"“I just want to thank everyone in Waco Fire - for what a wonderful job they’ve done for the City of Waco," added community member Richard Simcik.
On May 24, join 6 News for a special report on the Waco Fire Department titled "Portrait of Courage" where we will give you an in depth look at the department's legacy and the faces behind it.