History

The Liberty Fire Department was organized in 1925 after a major fire destroyed several businesses and structures in the downtown business district, including the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. The old-fashioned bucket brigades, which had been around for decades, were no match for this fire. This reality prompted several local men to organize a volunteer fire department with Chief H. R. "Bob" Martin (1895-1964) elected to its command. A longtime law enforcement officer, Martin served as chief from 1925 to 1955. He was soon followed by Chief Ben E. Pickett (1919-2006), who served from 1958 to 1987. Chief Ben Pickett Drive, which runs to the north of the Liberty Fire Station, was named in his honor.