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good-bye to former fire dispatcher

In the 1950’s H.E. Womack became involved in the Northwest Volunteer Fire Department in northwest Harris County. He soon became chief and not long after his wife Eula Mae Womack took over dispatching duties from their home across the street from the fire station on West Montgomery Road.

The district was not small at the time and covered almost everything west of Veterans Memorial (Stuebner Airline) to Cypress Creek and west to the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks and back down to Antoine Drive.

At any hour of the day or night the phone could ring and Ms. Womack would answer the calls and dispatch the incident on Channel 9 of a Citizens Band (CB) radio and calling volunteers at their homes She would stay with it until all the trucks returned.

Along with H.E. Womack and his wife their sons also became involved in the fire department as they grew up. Gene, Donald, Richard, Jim, Charles and a son Thomas lost to an electrocution accident in 1976.

A few years later the station was moved to across FM 149 (SH249) from their home.

Calls continued to come in and Ms. Womack continued to dispatch as they moved to a two-way radio system.

In the 1970’s , still hard at work fire phones were added, no time for vacations or family night she continued her volunteer duty to the community as did her sons and husband.

She was also a big part of the fire departments Ladies Auxiliary.

In the late 1970’s part of the district was split and the Champions Area Volunteer Fire Department was formed. With the area quickly building things slowed a bit with the 1960 area now free of needing her dispatch duties. However calls continued to come in, she needed to stay in contact with fire apparatus, ambulances and fire trucks. Some of this was during the middle of the night and may have lasted up to 8 hours or more.

Most of the area consisted of grass and woods. Inwood Forest Subdivision was just starting out, 1960 and 149 (SH249) had a flashing red traffic light, the generation plant for HL&P (Centerpoint) was built in a rice field. But the area began to boom. The corner of 1960 and 149 was Red’s Nursery,

Then in the the early 80’s she was relieved of her duties as communications was turned over to private enterprise. Most of the family stayed involved including her husband H.E. Womack.

The sound of her voice and the KUY-422 Northwest Volunteer Fire Department, Houston, Texas was missed.

One son Charles Womack still volunteering moved to Huntsville, Texas to attend Sam Houston University. While there he became the second student firefighter in the Huntsville Volunteer Fire Department.

After school and returning to Houston Charles soon took over as Chief of Northwest Volunteer Fire Department leading almost thirty volunteers.

Still volunteering Charles soon began to turn to a professional firefighter with the Spring Branch Fire Department and later The Woodlands Fire Department when their number one station was a shed on Grogans Mill Road just north of Woodlands Parkway and the firefighters resided in a mobile home across the street.

Charles retired from the Conroe Fire Department in 2007.

Eula May Womack passed away Thursday, September 12, 2013 at Willowbrook Methodist Hospital. She was 93-years-old.

Arrangements re pending but MCPR will post as soon as they are made.

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