La Porte Fire Department Honor Guard
The La Porte Fire Department was established, in 1892, to provide fire protection for this growing southeast Texas town. Over the years, the fire department grew to meet the needs of the city and its growing population. What started as a small volunteer fire department has evolved into combination department with about 100 career and volunteer members. Throughout its history, the fire department experienced many large-scale events and many changes in the fire service.Fortunately, the La Porte Fire Department has not experienced losing a firefighter in the line of duty. Many members of the fire department felt the need to establish a group to ensure our firefighters and their families would be cared for in the event of a line of duty death. This need was emphasized when Captain Bill Bethune of the Texas City Fire Department lost his life while responding to a call for service on October 5, 1999; and again, on February 14, 2000, when Houston firefighter's Kimberly Smith and Lewis Mayo lost their lives at a commercial fire in southeast Houston. Several members of the La Porte Fire Department knew these fallen firefighters and attended their funerals and memorial services. This fueled the need to establish the La Porte Fire Department Honor Guard to ensure proper honors are rendered for our fallen brother and sister firefighters.
A meeting for personnel interested in being a member of the Honor Guard was held on October 4, 2000. Five firefighters attended this first meeting. Several other meetings took place in the weeks following. Each meeting brought in new personnel interested in becoming a member of the Honor Guard. On November 7, 2000, the charter members were presented to the club along with a proposal to establish the Honor Guard. The proposal received overwhelming approval from the members of the fire department and the La Porte Fire Department Honor Guard was established.
Charter members included: Tony Constanzo, Kevin Dorsey, Terry Dunn, Scott Essmeier, Gary Free, Calvin Gadberry, Ryan Hernandez, Scott Medearis, Ray Salinas and Dwight Zuckero.
Firefighter Scott Medearis approached the La Porte Volunteer Fire Department Steering Committee, in July 2000, with the idea of establishing the Honor Guard. Club President Bruce Compton immediately granted his approval. After several months of research and preparation, the idea was presented to Fire Chief Mike Boaze for approval. Chief Boaze supported the idea but wanted the Honor Guard to be a club function.