Aransas Pass, Texas, The Harbor City

Fire Department

William Cox
Fire Chief
Fax: 361-758-8188
City Hall
600 W. Cleveland
Aransas Pass, TX 78336
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2000
Aransas Pass, TX 78335


The Aransas Pass Fire Department responded to more than 350 fire and rescue calls last year. The staff includes 13 employees:

  • 1 Fire Chief
  • 3 Captains
  • 3 Firefighter II
  • 6 Firefighters

The Captains and firefighters work a rotating shift of 24-hours on-duty and 48-hours off-duty. The Fire Chief works Monday through Friday, 8am –5pm.

The Aransas Pass Fire Department is currently recruiting citizens over 18 years of age to join the Fire Corps. If interested in becoming a member of the APFD Fire Corps, complete the application found here and email to”


The Mission Statement of the Aransas Pass Fire Department is to save lives and property, and to teach the children and citizens in our community about fire prevention and fire safety.

Our guiding principle is that fire prevention in our daily lives will make a difference in our community.


If you would like to ride along with the Aransas Pass Fire Department, please download and complete the Citizen Observer packet (PDF).


Aransas Pass Volunteer Fire Department 19291929 Aransas Pass Volunteer Fire Department
Active Members: C. C. Tedford, H. A. Thomas, Frank Belken, Joe A. Payne, Ted Bigelow, Frank Clendening, Ted Burke, Rob Roy Rice, Nunc Snyder, King Custer, Wm. T. Kopperl, Arlin Yeager, Ira H. Cundiff, J. M. Barnwell, J. M. Crenshaw, Red Fricke, Q. D. Hughes, Sam Kaufman.

The First Fire Department Pumper
Fire Department PumperThe Aransas Pass Fire Department was started in 1929 by volunteers and Fire Chief Charles C. Tedford. During that time it was ran solely as a volunteer Fire Department. In 1954, the fire department transitioned to a paid Fire Chief and paid drivers, with assistance from the volunteers to fight fires. In 1982 there were two fighters per shift, and in 2002 an additional fire fighter was added per shift.

The Aransas Pass Fire Station
The old fire station on ArchThe old Fire Station at 338 S Arch.
The Fire Department on Arch is where Retired Fire Chief Martinez, Fire Chief Gilbert Ritz, Captain Rickie Kilgore, and several other paid & volunteers started their fire service career.Chief Martiniz and his dog Sam

The Fire Department also had a “mascot”. The dog, whose name was Sam, was also Chief Pete Martinez’s dancing partner during Fire Prevention Week.


Chief Charles C. Tedford1929 – Volunteer Fire Chief Charles C. Tedford

Chief Ted Bigelow1932 – Aransas Pass Fire Chief Ted Bigelow

Chief Ray B. Crinklow
1954 – First paid Fire Chief Ray B. Crinklow (left) with City Manager Fred Robbins


Chief Allen Bern1959-1968 – Fire Chief Allen Berna

Chief Pete Martinez1955-1989 – Pete M. Martinez. Councilman for 12 years. 
Pete Martinez served as Fire Chief for 34 years before he retired. He is the only Fire Chief to retire from the department. Over the years, Chief Martinez was promoted from Volunteer fireman, to paid fire fighter, truck captain, Assistant Fire Chief/Assistant Fire Marshal. At his retirement he was holding the following positions: Fire Chief/Fire Marshal/ Arson Investigator. Ray B. Crinklow was the chief who hired Martinez as a paid firefighter.


  • The Aransas Pass Fire Department holds Fire Prevention programs for over 2,000 students in the Aransas Pass Independent School District. Students are provided fire prevention material which includes coloring books, fire prevention logo pencils, fire safety videos, fire helmets and programs with frequent appearances of “Sparky” the fire dog.
  • Hands-on fire extinguisher training for hospital and nursing home staff.
  • Foster home inspections.