The Levelland Community came out Saturday morning, February 24th for the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the brand new Levelland Fire Department and Police Communications Center. The station will house communication personnel and firefighters 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
The Levelland Fire Department was formed in 1927 and in September 1961 moved into the current station which was built in 1960 at a cost of 27 thousand dollars. Fifty Nine years later the department moves to the new state of the art facility which was completed this month. The four million dollar facility was started in 2016, however, preparing and discussions of the new building started over 20 years ago with Chief Marvin Brewer and four former city council members as well as former City Manager Rick Osburn.
Fire Chief Bill Durham said it best when he said, “this facility is the work of many prior fire chiefs, I just happen to be the lucky one in the position when it opened.” Durham has been with the Levelland Fire Department since 1975 beginning as the station mascot, his dad was firefighter in Levelland for many years. Durham became a volunteer fireman as soon as he was old enough. Several years later he became a paid firefighter and worked up to Assistant Chief and finally to Fire Chief. He leads a department of eight paid firefighters not including himself and the Fire Marshall as well as 17 volunteers.
Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia spoke briefly thanking numerous individuals for their work in building the police communications center. He noted that Communications Supervisor Margaret Golightly spent countless hours making sure everything was right in the new facility. The new Police Communications Center will go live on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. He also thanked the South Plains Association of Government for their assistance in design of the new facility and their assistance in funding much of the equipment and furnishings for the new facility. The new facility is a top notch communications facility in the area and serves as the dispatch for all 911 calls in Hockley county and is also the back-up 911 call center for many area counties.
The fire department also pushed the 1951 Pirsch fire truck into the station. The truck was the first new fire apparatus the fire department had and was in service from 1957 to 1976. The truck was purchased by the Levelland Downtown Association for the department at a cost of 56 thousand dollars which equates to over 250 thousand dollars today. The truck was the first apparatus to be housed in the new station and will have its own bay in the new station. The firefighters raised money to have the truck fully restored.