Fort McKavett Volunteer Fire Department and Community Center

The mission of the Fort McKavett Volunteer Fire Department is to respond to emergency situations according to the current resources available to the Department and within the training and capabilities of our firefighters.  The Department will coordinate its emergency activities and assist other local area fire departments in those emergencies.  The Community Center provides support for the Department through its fund raising and grant writing activities.  The Community Center also provides clean, well maintained facilities that can be used by the Fort McKavett community for meetings and special events at a nominal charge to cover utilities and cleaning.

 

 

A Brief History of Our Organization

 

 

The Fort McKavett Volunteer Fire Department was formed when the city of Robert Lee, Texas, donated their 1963 Ford C-60 pumper truck to our community in December of 2000.  Our first fire chief was Pete Crothers. We incorporated in January 2001. 
 


The Texas Forestry Service donated two brush trucks and we participated in their Cost-Shares program for equipment and radios.  We also received some surplus firefighting equipment and a water truck from the Menard Volunteer Fire Department.  Thanks to the tuition reimbursement program of the Texas Farm Bureau, we were able to send a different member of our fire department to the A&M Firefighting School in College Station for three consecutive years.


David Hirschfeld of San Angelo, Texas, donated land near the Fort McKavett State Historic Site for our fire house.  By September 2005, with the help of several grants and local donations, the first phase to build a combination Fire Department and Community Center was completed.  The front façade of the building was carefully planned to complement the historic buildings of Fort McKavett.  The building plan called for two restrooms, a kitchen, a meeting/training room, an office and storage areas.  With the completion of this first phase, we could store our trucks and equipment out of the weather.  However, this first phase did not provide for the completion of the interior areas.   There was no heat or air conditioning.


December of 2006: We received cost-share assistance for the acquisition of a small brush truck in the amount of $47,025 (90% of the funds) from the Texas Forest Service.  We purchased a new 2006 Ford F-550 with step-side brush truck body and equipment for $56,250. 

January 2007: The Fort McKavett Cemetery Association donated $5000 to be encumbered to help pay for the completion of the kitchen.  Through the generosity of our citizens we were able to complete the building interior. We also received two large propane heaters for the vehicle bays from an anonymous donor.

Around that same time, our founders realized that we needed to be better organized and get more people involved in the decision-making process. A new organizational structure was presented and was adopted at our October Board Meeting.  See attached sketch of this organizational structure (use the back arrow to return to this page). We used that organization structure until our by-laws were revised in January 2011.

August 2009: We adopted our mission statement.

 

January 2010: We received a grant from the San Angelo Health Foundation to construct two carports, a new well house and a 3000 gallon water catchment system.  The water catchment system collects rain water that can then be used to rapidly fill our fire trucks.

September 2010: We added a concrete apron and a carport across the rear of our building. 

May 2011: We enclosed one of the carports to create a garage that will hold our brush truck, tools and equipment.  We also began installing water and electrical pedestals for RVs.  We now have 8 RV sites with water and electrical and 6 RV sites with electricity only.   At the end of the year we put a roof over our two BBQ pits.

October 2013: We voted to buy a used flatbed truck and outfit it with water tanks and pump for use as a second brush truck.  Today our apparatus inventory consists of the flatbed and our 2006 brush truck.  Both units continue to serve us well.

May 2018: We received a $10,000 grant from the Chaparral Foundation to be used toward the purchase of a new brush truck. 


The founders of the Fort McKavett Volunteer Fire Department and Community Center envisioned one organization that would fulfill two different goals.  The first, and most important goal, was the creation of a fire department.  The second goal of our organization was to provide a comfortable environment for our local residents to have meetings, parties, wedding and funeral receptions.  The demographics of our area show a large number of senior or near senior citizens who are in need of a safe clean place to get together.  Our building is available to rent by our neighbors in Fort McKavett for a nominal fee.  We have a long standing tradition to accommodate at no charge the visitation of family and friends following funerals.  We have been able to meet this second goal while keeping costs down to less than 6% of our revenue (costs directly supporting and exclusively for our community center program).

 

Our Community Center plays a big role in how our community gets involved.  During Hurricane Harvey, our fire chief organized a food and clothing donation center that collected items for the victims of that storm.  Items collected were taken to the San Antonio Food Bank for distribution in the Houston Area.  Our members have collected relief supplies for the flood victims in Sonora.  They have also collected hurricane relief supplies and monetary donations  for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We support the Menard County 4H programs and the area Boy Scouts.  A community donation was also made to the Memorial Fund of a local young man who died as a result of burns suffered in a motor vehicle accident in Sutton County.  We hosted a benefit dinner that raised over $2000 for an elderly couple in Menard who lost their home and all their belongings in a fire.  We made a donation of $500 to the United Fire Fighters Association Widow's and Children's Fund after 9-11.  We donated $500 in December 2012 to buy clothes and presents for 19 children in 5 families.   We have made a landing area next to our building suitable for Shannon's helicopter ambulance service, AirMed1. This will enable the helicopters to land safely without having to land in the middle of a highway.  Our first helicopter airlift was in December 2016.  We also represent our community by driving our truck in parades in surrounding communities.



More About Our Organization

 

Following our by-laws, we have organized such that we have an Executive Committee consisting of our officers (President, Vice President, Fire Chief, Secretary, and Treasurer) plus a Sargent at Arms and one At Large position.  The officers and executive committee are elected annually by the members of our organization.  There are four basic standing committees.  The Supplies and Rentals committee ensures we have the necessary supplies on hand for our fund raiser and our community service activities.  That committee is also responsible for scheduling building and/or RV site rentals.  The Grounds/Building committee is responsible for the upkeep of the building and for keeping our property cleaned and mowed.  The Community Relations Committee is responsible to reaching out to our neighbors when they are having surgery, are sick, there is a death in the family, or any other significant adversity.  The committee also makes recommendations on supporting local organizations like the 4H club or scouting programs.  The final committee is responsible for the organization and implementation of all fund raising activities including our June fund raiser.  See the Organizational Chart that follows.

 
Our Fire House May 2007

Our Fire House June 2010


Community Center Kitchen


Back of building with apron and water catchment tank foundation.  A carport was installed across the bay doors.  During our fund raiser the carport shades the live music and the food serving line.


Our Training room/meeting room.

 

 

 

 

Our Officers and Board of Directors

 

President:  Lisa Lester
president@fortmckavettvfd.org

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University with a major in History and a minor in English and master’s degree in Early Childhood from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.  Lisa taught in Pasadena, Deer Park and Junction.  She retired from teaching in a regular teaching environment in 2018.  She is currently on the staff of K-12, an on-line school. Lisa moved to Fort McKavett in 2007 and joined the Fort McKavett Volunteer Fire Department.  She was the secretary from 2008 to 2012.  Lisa has been the president of the organization since 2012. Lisa is a founding member of the Friends of Fort McKavett and is a past president and secretary for that organization.  She is an amateur astronomer with the Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society.  The Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas presented her with their Community Builder Award in 2016.

Vice President: Dee Dommert
vicepresident@fortmckavettvfd.org
Fire Chief: Terry Mazac
firechief@fortmckavettvfd.org
 
Secretary: Corry Fleniken
secretary@fortmckavettvfd.org
 
Treasurer:  Ken Lester
treasurer@fortmckavettvfd.org
Ken is a retired software engineer for Texaco and Chevron from Deer Park, Texas. He is an active member of the Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society, which travels from Houston to Fort McKavett every spring and fall to give a star party for our community.  It was during these trips that a decision was made to move to the Fort McKavett area when he retired.  Following retirement, Ken joined the staff at Fort McKavett State Historic Site.  He worked another 7 years for the state until he once again retired.  Ken served in the Air Force from 1978 to 1982.  Ken has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Houston. He was a founding member of the Friends of Fort McKavett and has served as Treasurer for that organization.  He also served as vice-president of the fire department.
Sargent at Arms: Warren Fleniken
sargent@fortmckavettvfd.org
 
Member at Large: Byron Ratliff
atlarge@fortmckavettvfd.org
 

 

Contact Information


Phone: call 911 for emergencies


Mailing Address: PO Box 91
Fort McKavett, Texas 76841


Physical Address:
6300 Farm to Market Rd 864,
Fort McKavett, TX 76841