History of the PVFD

The Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department was organized in the summer of 1930 with 25 members, led by Joe Fels, Fire Chief. Through the untiring efforts of these 25 firefighters, the loss of life and property, due to fire, was held to a minimum during the lean years of the small town of old Pasadena.

First Apparatus

The first piece of apparatus, an American LaFrance pumper was purchased in 1929 and the second truck, a Ford, was purchased in 1941. The 1929 american LaFrance, endearingly called “Old Betsy” still remains in our fleet of apparatus and is proudly displayed during parades and other special events.

Department Today

Today our Department is led by Lanny Armstrong, Fire Chief, and consists of 200 volunteers, serving a population of approximately 140,000 citizens, covering 52 square miles. We provide fire protection with over 40 pieces of apparatus and operate from 9 fire stations located throughout the City.

The Pasadena Fire Department remains the largest single municipal volunteer fire department in the United States.

Although techniques and equipment have changed over the years, the dedication of those who founded this Department has not wavered. Still today we continue as a proud group of men and women, striving each day to protect our neighbors from the ravages of fire.


Our Department responds to approximately 170 alarms per month within the City Limits, including rescue calls and hazardous material responses. While providing fire protection to the City of Pasadena, our Department is an active member of the Channel Industries Mutual Aid (CIMA) and also provides mutual aid fire protection with adjoining Cities, Ellington Field, Johnson Space Center, the University of Houston-Clear Lake and the City of Taylor Lake.

Serving with Honor

It is with great honor we serve the Citizens of Pasadena as volunteer firefighters with the Pasadena Fire Department.