History of the Sandia Volunteer Fire Department
In 1947 Henry & Ed Knolle donated land in Sandia to be used for the Sandia Volunteer Fire Department. A small fire truck was donated by the city Orange Grove and the Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. J. Finke was the first Fire Chief. He was assisted in his fire fighting duties by Carl & Kenneth Holleman and Merle Willeford.
In 1986 Dan Meaney, another Sandia resident, spearheaded efforts with the Kennedy Foundation to build a new fire station where it is now located. The Ivy’s laid the foundation. In the late 80’s the Kennedy Foundation aided the Fire Department again with the addition of a new fire truck and then an ambulance in 1990. Dyree Henrichson was the Fire Chief and Wendy Carter was the EMS Director. At the same time the Ladies Auxiliary was formed and Delores Waller was named President. Marie Stewart served as Secretary.
In 2005 with dwindling funds due to less donations the residents of Sandia decided to form an Emergency Service District which funds would be generated through tax dollars. The issue was put before the voters and it was formed. The ESD is still in operations. Fire Chiefs have been Les Snyder, Roger Cox and currently Henry Barajas. Chief Barajas has served now for 12 years in that capacity.
Chief Barajas has 13 firemen under his direction. The ESD currently has 3 brush trucks, 1 tanker and 2 rescue units with one serving as the Mobile Command Unit. All firemen are certified by TEEX and participate in continuing education on a regular basis. Sandia is also a member of the Wildland Taskforce.