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brand new fire truck in front of the La Mesa Police Station when it was located on Spring Street.

May 26, 1942

Effective this date, pay scale for the Fire Department: Ray Lyles, Fire Chief $155 per month Oscar Workman, Fireman $130 per month Gene Robeson, Fireman $130 per month

June 1944

James O. Orsborn is hired as a fireman. Even though he was still attending St. Augustine High School at that time, he was needed (he was big for his age) to replace men who had been called into the military for WWII.


William Gerber is hired as a part time fireman. "Gerb" has returned from Air Force duty and was assigned as a "sleeper" to add one man to the Fire Department at night. He was also a projectionist at the old La Mesa Theater on Lookout Avenue.

Mar 1947

City of La Mesa Fire Department purchases a 1942 Seagrave fire engine equipped with a 750 gallon per minute pump. The truck was purchased from the Defense Plant Corporation as war surplus. It was used at Ryan Aeronautical during WWII. Fire Chief Ray Lyles is pictured with the truck.

July 22, 1947

Effective this date, the pay scale for the Fire Department is: Ray Lyles, Fire Chief $300 per month Gene Robeson, Fireman $240 per month Larry Rooklidge, Fireman $230 per month James Orsborn, Fireman $220 per month Dale Reeser, Fireman $220 per month G.D. Buckner, Fireman $210 per month Andrew Griffen, Volunteer $50 per month

Mar 1949

A Chevrolet fire truck for fighting grass fires and for quick-attack on house fires is put into service replacing the 1931 Chevrolet truck. The new truck was built by Captain Gene Robeson with the help of several of the firemen. A lot of metal was formed on the benders and rollers at George Robeson’s Sheet Metal Shop. It carried 500 gallons and was equipped with a 150 GPM gear pump driven from a power take off so it could pump while on the move.

May 1949

The 1931 Chevrolet fire truck was sold as surplus to a private party.

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