Who We Are


Our mission  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.

Our History  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.

In 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. 

In 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 2007 organizational structure. We used that organization structure until our by-laws were revised in January 2011.

In August 2009, We adopted our mission statement. Then in 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.

In September 2010, we added a concrete apron and a carport across the rear of our building. 

In 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.

At our October 2013 meeting we voted to buy a used flatbed truck and outfit it with water tanks and pump for use as a second brush truck.  Every since the flat bed truck was purchased and converted to a brush truck, we have been putting aside money in a restricted fund to purchase our next truck. We received several large donations and a $10,000 grant from the Chaparral Foundation that were specified to be only used for the purchase of a truck. 

During the 2020 fire season, our small brush truck got hung up on a stump with a fire approaching. Fortunately another department's truck was able to push our truck off the stump before the fire reached our position.  Our members voted to use the restructed truck funds to purchase a 2008 F750 4x4 Brush Truck. Today our apparatus inventory consists of the converted flatbed, our 2006 brush truck and the 2008 high clearance 4x4 brush truck.

Our Goals 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.

Re-Organization Following our by-laws, we have organized such that we have an Executive Committee (Board of Directors) 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.

New Organization Chart

Our Building Constructed in 2005  
Our Fire House taken: May 2007
Our Building in 2010  
Our Fire House taken: June 2010
Kitchen Area  
Community Center Kitchen
Rear Apron  
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.
Training Area  
Our Training room/meeting room.

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

Executive Committee

President Randy Wood president@fortmckavettvfd.org
Vice President Peggy Whiten vp@fortmckavettvfd.org
Fire Chief Byron Ratliff firechief@fortmckavettvfd.org
Treasurer Dave Newton treasurer@fortmckavettvfd.org
Secretary (Recording) Debbie Wood secretary@fortmckavettvfd.org
Secretary (Correspondence) Paula Swenson correspondence@fortmckavettvfd.org
Sargent at Arms Bob Sherek sgtatarms@fortmckavettvfd.org
At Large Ken Lester atlarge1@fortmckavettvfd.org

Other Contacts

Rentals Jane Hunt rentals@fortmckavettvfd.org
Zoom meeting ID requests Lisa Lester meetings@fortmckavettvfd.org
Web Master Ken Lester webmaster@fortmckavettvfd.org

When sending an email to one of our officers or committe chairpersons above,
Please put ATTN: Fort McKavett VFD is the subject line.
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Thank You.