A brief history of the Cassie Volunteer Fire Department
1977 - The Cassie Volunteer Fire Department was established on September 20.1977 the first chairman of the board was John Fargason and the first fire chief was C.E. Wisener. Prior to this time, fire protection was provided as a satellite of the Red Barn VFD. The fire boundaries were the Burnet and llano county line, down highway 29 about five miles, From rocky point down park road 4 to the Buckner boy's ranch. With donated labor, construction was completed on a two bay fire station on land donated by Raymond Jones for that purpose. A 1949 Chevrolet pumper and a 1950 Chevrolet tanker were purchased.
1978 - A 1976 Chevrolet suburban was donated to the department by a Houston company and Burnet civil defense loaned the department a 1951 army truck to be converted into a brush truck.
1979 - With donated labor, two more bays were added to the fire station. New radios were installed in the trucks and pagers were purchased for the firefighters.
1980 - The Cassie Emergency Medical Service was formed. Ruth (vine) Abernathy was the first ems coordinator. A ford sedan was donated by a property owner for ems use.
1982 - A 1972 ford 2,100 gallon tanker was purchased to replace the 1950 Chevrolet tanker
1983 - Hoover Valley vfd was formed and assumed fire protection for that area. The Emeralds, Kelly Emeralds and Little Midland were transferred from East Lake Buchanan VFD to Cassie VFD.
1984 - A 1961 ford pumper was purchased to replace the 1949 Chevrolet pumper. A 2,100 gallon portable tank was purchased. this 1961 ford pumper is still in use as of this writing in 2006. This vehicle started life as a new truck with the Austin fire department. it was sold to Briggs vfd where it was used as a tanker and then it came to Cassie. she is affectionately called by some "big red" and by others as the ol red #@#%&**#.
1986 - A 13,800 gallon water tank was purchased and installed at the fire station. The 2,100 gallon tanker could be filled in three minutes from this new water tank.
1987 - Under a new set of by-laws approved by the property owners, the name of the organization was changed to Cassie Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, Inc. the auxiliary department was formed and took over fund raising activities to support the fire and ems. Dottie Brandford was the first president of the auxiliary.
1988 - With donated labor, a fifth bay was added to the fire station. A 1986 ford ambulance was purchased.
1990 - With assistance from the Texas Forestry Service, a new Chevrolet brush truck was purchased.
1991 - A fire hydrant was purchased and installed in Buena Vista.
1992 - A 1989 Ford brush truck was purchased to replace the 1951 brush truck. The 89 ford was a "good old girl", held together with bondo and JB weld. It was partially burned during a brush fire. Its pull rope on the pump started every time after Joe Fisher rebuilt the carburetor.
1994 - The ambulance was sold due to shortage of EMS personnel. This service has been provided by the City of Burnet since that time.
2000 - With the assistance of a $25,000 matching grant from LCRA, a 1989 gmc pumper/tanker was purchased. Construction of two more bays at the fire station was completed.
2003 - With a lot of slick trading and hard work, a 1987 gmc brigadier tanker was put together and is still working well. If you are going "horse trading", take Sam Phillips with you.
2004 - With donations and fund drives, the department was able to Purchase a new 2004 Ford f-350 gasoline engine brush truck.
2006 - Through the hard work and efforts of Gerald Marx on the grant writing side, Sam Philllips and Art Lassley on the specifications side, we were able to purchase a 2006 ford f-350 diesel brush truck (automatic and a/c). This was accomplished through a Texas Forestry Service 90/10 grant. The 1989 ford brush truck was sold to East Lake vfd for $3000.00 cash.
2006 - New pagers were purchased by the department to meet homeland security specifications for wide and narrow band capabilities.
2007- Heat is installed inside the fire station for the first time in thirty (30) years. Sure is nice to be warm when we are working inside the building during cold weather.
- -Purchased new boots, helmets, fire-resistant jump suits and refurbished bunker coats for the department.
- -Attending many meetings with Burnet County Commissioners court to evaluate the need for an ESD in our fire district. In September we began a drive to get 150 signatures on a petition to have an election to create an ESD for fire only. Attained goal in early November. December 13, 2007 we filed our petition to create an ESD. Target election on the May 2008 ballot.
Purchased a floating water pump that pumps 400 gallons per minute. Named it after Wade Swartwood, past board member.
2008 - Purchased a 1982 American Lafrance engine from Horseshoe Bay Fire Department to replace 1961 ford engine known as "old red"
Our esd passed 101 to 29 or 77.7% were in favor. We want to thank all of our voters for their support. Through a grant from the Texas Forestry Service, we were able to purchase "new bunker gear" for all members of the department. First time all members have new bunker gear.
Received our first funds from the ESD. Converted the covered awning on the west side to a large storage room. With a 75/25 grant from LCRA, we stocked the (new to us) Engine 1. Painted the Fire Station. Moved into our new office. Painted the water tower and remodeled the restroom. Purchased a new Ford Command vehicle. Replaced all tires on Tender 1 and Engine 2. Replaced the primer pump on Engine 1. Replaced 750 gallon steel tank on Engine 1. Changed tax status with the IRS to a 501 c 3.
Completed upgrading all two way radio communication equipment to digital. Received our 2011 Freightliner Tanker on November 2, 2010.
Received our first FEMA grant to purchase new SCBA's and other safety equipment. Received new SCBA's. Fire Chief Bob Elms passed away 1/1/11. Replaced rear springs and rear brakes on E2. Replaced four valves on E1. Received our ISO rating of 5/8b which is an improvement.
Ordered new Engine to replace Engine 1 which has been sold to Camp Longhorn. Received our new 2013 Freightliner Engine.
Cassie Community Center deeded the Fire Department approx. 75 feet of their property which includes the water well. Jones family released the reverted clauses in the deed to the fire dept. and community center.
Purchased new HURST Jaws and Spreaders. Ordered new Engine.
All radios are trunked.
Purchased new 2014 Freightliner Engine
Purchased 4 sets of new structural gear
Purchased a set of low pressure Airbags for rescue.
Order a new Brush Truck
Sold two of our old brush trucks (one was sold to Buchanan Dam VFD)
Ordered a cascade system for SCBA bottles, received a 75/25 grant from Texas Forest Service.
December 2, 2016 took delivery of a new brush truck
400 gallon custom made 2016 Dodge 5500 diesel truck
Received new cascade system for refilling SCBA bottles
Upgraded our phone system and internet for better and cost effective system
Purchased a Magnum hose trainer system from Bullex to continue training our volunteer firefighters and give the public live fire demos. This was made possible by a $8,000.00 grant from the Texas Forest Service.
Purchased 15 Motorola APX 6000 handheld radios and 5 Motorola APX 4500 mobile radios.
3 Firefighters completed course work for their state certification in Structural firefighting, they are currently awaiting testing dates.
Purchased new Bunker Gear for the firefighters.
Replaced our old and aging Ford command SUV with a 2019 Chevy Tahoe.
Purchased gear extractor(washer)
Purchased a Forced air PPE dryer.
Purchased Rope rescue gear after sending 9 members to Rescue Apprentice class and 4 to Rope Rescue Tech 1&2.
Received an LCRA Community grant for the purchase of a Rescue Zodiac Boat, for the amount of $27,000.00.
Certified 4 new firefighters and recerted 2 firefighters in Swiftwater Tech 1&2 for a total of 7 members certified in Swiftwater.
The Station got new signs.
TFS Awarded CVFD with a PPE grant and purchase all new dual certed wildland/extrication gear.
We are members of the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal's Association of Texas and the Burnet County Emergency Services Association.
5 April 1985
dear property owner:
each year your volunteer fire department obtains an updated list of all property owners in the fire district. To all the new owners, we would like to extend a welcome. This letter is being sent to all the new property owners and owners that have not yet responded to our November letter.
picture of fire tuck purchased late 1984
In late 1984, in order to update our existing capability, a used fire truck was purchased for $6,000.00. While the basic chassis. Engine, and transmission are sound, a considerable amount of refurbishing was required.
With the members of the fire department donating the labor, so far $3,300.00 has been spent and an estimated $2,500.00 more will be required. When refurbished, this unit will have the capabilities of delivering 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and should serve the community for many years. To take advantage of the pumper's increased water delivery, additional firefighting equipment must-be procured at an estimated cost of $2,500.00.
According to various dealers of new and refurbished fire equipment, a new unit similar to ours would cost $60,000.00 and up. A refurbished truck the same age was $18,000.00 without necessary firefighting equipment (hoses, nozzles, and etc.). Upon completion of repairs and equipped, the estimated cost of your unit is $14,300.00 (and a lot of donated labor).
Prudent use of donated funds in past years has made this purchase possible. However, our reserve funds are about exhausted. Your financial support to your volunteer fire department allows us to update our capabilities and provide better service to the communities.
Additionally, we encourage you to join us personally in helping your fire department to grow.
William e. Parrish, jr.
Cassie volunteer fire department, Inc.
March 14, 1986
to those property owners, who have recently donated to the volunteer fire department, we thank you. To those owners who have not yet had a chance to contribute, we sincerely hope you will participate in this year's solicitation. .
Your generous donations have enabled us to become one of the best if not the best equipped volunteer fire departments in the area. We are continually striving to upgrade our equipment and also our personnel training techniques. We are extremely fortunate to have a number of individuals associated with the fire department who have donated many hours of their time and expertise to new projects. Over the past two years, their efforts have saved the community several thousands of dollars.
Our newest addition to the fire department is a 12,800 gallon water storage tank. This tank enables us to fill the tanker in less than 21/2 minutes, thus increasing the capability to pump additional water at a fire by over 50 percent.
We want to invite each of you to join us at the cassie fire department on April 26th from 4:00 p. m. to 7:00 p. m. for a free fish fry. At this time we will dedicate our new storage tank. We also invite you to look over the fire station facility and get acquainted with the volunteer personnel.
Please reply by April 15th if you plan to attend so we may have a numbers estimate to prepare for. A prompt reply will be appreciated.
c. e. wisener