Welcome to the jungle where it is not all fun and games — at least not at Waxahachie Fire Station 3.
Following 33 years of continuous operation, firefighters house at Waxahachie Fire Station 3 decided on a gorilla to be the station's unofficial, yet somewhat official, mascot in 2013.
The station's logo is designed with a gorilla breaking out of the jungle with a halligan bar in its left hand. This tool is a free-able entry device that is commonly used to break through doors and windows.
The background of the logo is red and reads "Engine 3" and "Truck 3." A couple of firefighters on the A-shift explained that the engine carries minimal water and is primarily used for rescues, while the truck is used as a primary source of water.
The logo is proudly worn by firefighting crewmembers, is displayed in the apparatus bay wall and printed on the back of Truck 3. As part of the tradition, crewmembers will keep a coin with the gorilla logo in their pocket. One of those coins is even embedded into the sidewalk leading up the front door of the station but displays the Waxahachie Fire Department logo that depicts the Ellis County Courthouse.
Six years ago, Waxahachie Fire Cpt. Josh Anderson came up with different designs that were ultimately voted on by the station crew. Shortly after the vote, the concrete jungle logo was finalized.
"In district three we have lots of types of industries like the industrial across [Interstate] 35, then there are some apartments, and we even handle grass fires," Anderson explained. "That's where it stemmed from.
Anderson agreed that it created some sense of pride at the station being individualized from the other stations. He even noted that a member of the crew had customized suspenders made.
Waxahachie Fire engineer Terry Burnette has been with the department for 18 years and elaborated on how the times have changed in Waxahachie and that the area wouldn't have been considered the concrete jungle when he first joined the team.
"We were out here when it was a dirt field across the way, and it wasn't concrete," Burnette said.
The station also pays tribute to the tradition of the volunteer fire departments that came before it — Salamander Hose Company and James S. Davis Hook and Ladder Company. The two seals for each department are printed on the dining room table.
In the 2017-18 year, station three reported to 1,939 incidents, according to the operations division statistics. That is the most reported to in the past three years. In 2015-16, station three reported to 1,637 incidents, and in 2016-17 1,786 were reported to.
For the past two years, station three has reported to the most incidents out of the WFD.
Editor's note: This article is the third and final installment of a series that detailed the unique logos used by the three Waxahachie Fire stations. Waxahachie Fire Station 1 was featured in the Wednesday Daily Light, while Station 2 was featured Friday. All three articles can be found online at www.waxahachietx.com.
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450