Bobby Bell has been a part of the Levelland Fire Department since he was 18 years old. As of today he has hung up his bunker gear for the final time. He made his last call on Thursday and was honored with a retirement reception at city hall that afternoon. Bells family, friends and fellow fire fighters were all on hand for the sad but joyeous occasion.
The name “Bell” has been around the Levelland Fire Department since 1927. Bobby Bells grandfather, O.V. Bell founded the Levelland Fire Department in 1927. Bobby’s father T.J. “Sonny” served as a volunteer firefighter. The group of early volunteers relied on an early pumper, a 1923 Seagraves, that was kept at the old Birdwell Garage on Houston St. For fire protection of Levelland. Bobby’s father joined the department as a volunteer in 1947, he left in 1981. Bobby was hired by the late C.B. Joiner in August of 1974. At that time Bell had not been to the fire academy, he enrolled in the Lubbock Fire Academy in the Winter of 1975, he graduated 14 weeks later. He had to complete 472 hours of training in order to be certified. The requirement is now over 600 hoursto be certified.
He also noted that the equipment and vehicles used 40 years ago were not as efficient as they are today. Back then you didn’t wear an airpack, only a helmet, coat and rubber boots. Today’s pumper trucks and search and rescue vehicles are much more sophisticated and much greater capacity than the older models.
Bell has served 39 years as a paid firefighter for the City of Levelland, he served as a volunteer for 6 months. He has no particular plans for retirement at this time.
KLVT News says, Congratulations to Bobby Bell and Thank You for your many hours of service to this community.