Again, Birmingham Fire Department proved to be the source for another pumper. During a quarterly meeting of the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department, the members voted to purchase a 1938 500-gpm pumper for $600.00 dollars. It was pointed out by one of the members that any expenditures over five hundred dollars must be approved by the entire membership. However, there was a need to act expeditiously and the board took the responsibility of purchasing the pumper. The purchase of the pumper took place in
January, 1964. Also, in this same meeting, the members voted to allocate funds to increase the size of the tin building to two bays. Volunteers began construction immediately and completed the building that now housed two Hoover pumpers. The cost to the citizens for the construction was two hundred dollars.
In December of 1964 petitions were circulated to call for a vote for incorporation of the area as the town of Hoover. However, the measure failed when put to a vote 119 to 87. By the end of 1964 there were several new businesses and homes in the area as more people began to move to the new suburb. The Fire Department was answering calls in the Green Valley area, Patton Chapel and along Highway 31. However, the first structure fire the department responded to was on February 14, 1963 to Box 95, Route 13, in Cahaba River Estates located off of Highway 150. In 1962 there were three fire calls, 1963 there were thirteen fire calls, and by the end of 1964, there were eighteen fire calls.
A called meeting of the Hoover Fire Department Board of Directors on April 14, 1965 would be to discuss what would be the first big capital project of the department. The meeting was attended by President John Hodnett, Cecil Woods, Ray Dunbar, O.E. Braddock, Ed Ernst, Mr. Sharfer, Mr. Tipton, and Chief Ralph Sheppard. President Hodnett called for a discussion of building a Hoover Fire Hall. John Hodnett and Cecil Woods were appointed to contact Mr. Hoover about purchasing a piece of land to erect a fire station. A piece of property behind Employers Insurance seemed to be the ideal location. After meeting with Mr. Hoover, Mr. Hoover decided to lease the land for one dollar a year to the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department.
The Board of Directors met again on July 27, 1965 to discuss the matter and the lease was accepted from Mr. Hoover. Mr. Fred Buck offered to construct the station at his cost. The cost of the station was projected to be $5500.00 to $6000.00. The Treasurer, O.E. Braddock estimated current funds to be around $2000.00 dollars and expected to receive an additional $6500.00 for 1965-66 Fire Dues. After further discussion the issue to build a station was voted on with all members voting yes. The station consisted of two bays, a kitchen area and sleeping area. Although the original structure has been altered several times, most of the original building stands today and houses Engine Company One.
The volunteers were quite busy that year fighting several house fires and fires in commercial establishments. On the morning of May 31, 1965, Hoover Volunteer Fire Department along with Vestavia Hills Fire Department and Homewood Fire Department would respond to the worst possible call firefighter faces- a structure fire with a child trapped. Firefighters were called to 3052 Lorna Road, Valley Trailer Park. Upon arrival they were faced with a trailer well involved with fire with a child trapped inside. Several people tried to enter the burning structure to rescue the child, but to no avail. After the fire was out, the gruesome task of searching for the child was left to the firefighters. Just as it had been reported, the firefighters discovered the body of four year old Gerald Maurice Belcher. Homewood Fire Marshal Howard Fields would investigate the scene as well as the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department and the State Fire Marshals office. Several fires would be fought at the Valley Trailer Park over the years until progress pushed the park out and made way for Bruno’s Food store.
The area continued to grow and the volunteer department continued to serve the newly formed “Town of Hoover” well. For many years the Fire Station behind Employers Insurance served as the City Hall and Police Station. Often prisoners were held in the bathroom of the station until the Sheriff arrived because the young city did not have a jail. The size of the volunteer staff grew and included many individuals who would go on to become civic leaders such as, Mayor O. E. Braddock, Mayor John Hodnett, Mayor Frank Skinner, Councilman Howard Rasco, Councilman Ralph Sheppard, and Councilman Bill Cartwright. The other men who served as early as 1966 included: Milton Tipton, Darrel Holmes, Frank Skinner, Sr., Papa Ed Ernst, Mike Thigpen, Ray Dunbar, Cecil Woods, Raymond Patton, and Charlie Ball.