May 14, 2015 · Filed Under Events and News 

firestation truck Glenn E Ellmenphoto by Glen E. Ellman 2013

It’s that time of year when Arlington Heights turns out to celebrate our local firefighters and the historic bungalow fire station at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Carleton Avenue.  The party starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday May 17 and goes until 8 p.m.  The free event is open to everyone, including furry four-legged friends.  (If rain should change the plans for the block party – the Rain Date will be Sunday June 7th, 2015 4-8pm – we will post on the site and email out.  To subscribe to our emails, email vicepresident@ to be added)


This will be the third year for the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association to host this event at Fire Station 18.  The annual event started in 2013 when the fire station celebrated its 90th birthday and AHNA decided to throw a party for the firefighters and the station which is the oldest operating fire station in Fort Worth.  The party was such a success, the decision was made to hold the event every year, calling it “Countdown to 100”.


This year, the best of Fort Worth Fire Department’s trucks and specialty equipment will be parked along Carleton Avenue that will be blocked off so people can walk freely among the displays.  This year’s party will also feature live music from some of the neighborhood’s finest musicians, including Justin Holt, Joel McElhaney, and Bomber Spur.


Free food and drinks will be provided, thanks to the generous donations from neighborhood retailers and friends, including Central Market, Ben E. Keith Company, Crestline Area Neighborhood Association, Bluebonnet Bakery, Sam from 7-11, and refreshing lemonade made by the Texas Girls Choir.


Tours of the historic bungalow fire station will be conducted by the station’s firefighters and retirees.  AHNA will sell commemorative Fire Station 18 ball caps.  Local garden authority Steve Huddleston will sell and sign copies of his Texas garden books.  Lots to do for everyone, including the kids who will find intriguing displays, as well as a bounce house, in a special children’s activity area.  The Fire Safety House will make its annual appearance, as well as Axe, the fire clown, and his funny friends.


Fire Station 18 firefighters have been busy making some small improvements to their home away from home.  They installed a new stove in the kitchen that the firefighters use everyday to cook all their meals.  They also installed new wood venetian blinds on all of the station’s interior windows.  Outside, they put in a new barbecue grill at the back of the building.  On the south perimeter of the station, the firefighters completed a sidewalk extension project and planted Texas Sage bushes along the side of the building.


Fire Station 18 is manned by three rotating crews of four firefighters who work 24-hour shifts every third day starting at 7:00 a.m.  Besides fighting fires and answering emergency medical calls, they are in charge of keeping everything neat and tidy inside and outside the station and are also responsible for keeping the U.S.S. Fort Worth, the station’s Rosenbauer fire engine, spotless and ready for action.


The physical boundaries of Station 18’s areas of responsibility go from the Trinity River on the south, to Montgomery Street on the east, to Merrick Street on the west, and White Settlement Road and the Trinity River on the north.  The firefighters routinely study maps and street names in the areas for which they are responsible.


This past year, Station 18’s boundaries expanded to include nearby Westworth Village which decided to contract with the City of Fort Worth for fire protection after disbanding its volunteer fire department due to unaffordable state and federal mandates. “Learning all the new geographic information, the hydrant locations, the Mapsco numbers, and cross streets have been a challenge,” admits Lt. Stephen Boynton.  “The IT Department is catching up, so most of the issues are being dealt with.”  This year, there were two significant house fires in Westworth Village, each of which involved rescuing household pets, a pet frog and a Chihuahua.


At 3:45 a.m. on a stormy night this past March, Station 18 firefighters answered a second alarm call to help Station 16 firefighters battle a blaze in the 12-story Mutual of Omaha Bank office building, next to Ridglea Country Club.  The fire, which started in an aquarium pump on the third floor, was quickly put out and there were no injuries.


Engine 18 answered over 1,900 calls in 2014.  “That’s probably the busiest year ever for Station 18,” according to Lt. Boynton.  “That’s 5.2 calls each day.”


Even though turnover at Station 18 is rare, this year Engineer Patrick Donaldson from C shift was promoted to Lieutenant and moved to Station 36, off Sycamore School Road.  Please make sure to welcome his replacement, Tate Curtis, at the party on May 17.


By far, the biggest news of the year at the Fort Worth Fire Department is the opening of the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex.  A state of the art training facility, the complex at West Felix and South Hemphill Streets includes indoor and outdoor training environments, firing ranges, an indoor tactical training area, classrooms and office space, an Emergency Vehicle Operators course, and a Class A live fire training structure.


If you’ve ever watched the Fort Worth firefighters in action at a fire, you will never forget what an important public role these men and women play in our community.  Please stop by and say hello to your neighborhood firefighters and meet some of your neighbors on Sunday May 17 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.  There are sure to be surprises galore for you and yours!


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