Hesperia resident and World War II test pilot, William “Bill” Coe, is credited with founding Hesperia’s fire department. In the summer of 1954 his home burned to the ground. As a result, he established a volunteer fire department. He served as Hesperia’s first Fire Chief from 1954 to 1969.
At first, the volunteers shared a station with the California Department of Forestry (CDF). There had been a CDF fire station in Hesperia since 1935, but it was only staffed during fire season; usually June through September. And if there was a large fire elsewhere in the state, that CDF engine would often be assigned to flight the fire, once again leaving Hesperia without any fire protection at all.