The Rockport Volunteer Fire Department is a nonprofit organization independent of the City of Rockport. According to archives, Rockport's first volunteer fire department was created in 1885 when Sam Smith bought a fire wagon with a chemical tank and hose for $1400 and donated it to the City. More than a century later, approximately 50 dedicated volunteers continue to suppress fires and provide vehicular accident and technical rescue services through four stations and an impressive array of equipment.
Like other first responders, the Volunteer Fire Department remains on call 24/7 and provides mutual aid for like organizations in neighboring cities and towns. Training is a mandatory requirement as these individuals must be able to perform quickly in desperate situation, while wearing 75 pounds of clothing and gear. Research shows that 15 minutes of actual firefighting is equivalent to eight hours on a construction site.
Although it is not a part of the City of Rockport, the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department receives annual funding through the City's General Fund. Additionally, a monthly surcharge on each utility bill is placed in a special utility fund. On or before October 15 of each year, the City disburses the fund balance to the Rockport, Fulton and Lamar Volunteer Fire Departments on a pro rata basis depending upon the number of meters in their respective service areas.
While the Fire Department is strictly a volunteer organization, is must still comply with the Texas Commission of Fire Safety Protection and accounting/financial procedures set forth by the City and Texas Legislature. Additional funding is also provided by Aransas County and through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assessment Program.
If you're interested in becoming a member or assisting in any way, please visit the Central Station at 212 Gagnon on any Thursday evening at 7:30 pm. Additional information is available on the Department's website at www.rockportvfd.org