The Sherman and Denison fire departments are in a process of re-branding to an updated moniker of fire rescue. Both department heads say the name change aims to better reflect the activities of a modern-day fire department.


“It doesn’t really change our operation, it just kinds of defines our operation,” Sherman Fire Chief Danny Jones said.


While both departments fight fires, it’s not the only thing they do. With emergency medical services and various special rescue operations, the name change to Sherman Fire-Rescue and Denison Fire Rescue reflects the larger picture.


“It just brings our name into more alignment with the operations we do,” Denison Fire Chief Gregg Loyd said.


Jones noted that Sherman has a hyphen between fire and rescue while Loyd said Denison does not.


Loyd said when he became chief in April, some vehicles and equipment carried the name fire rescue as others had fire department. So he wanted to make the name more uniform for the department.


“We don’t do as much fire now as we did in the past, but we do way more things than we ever did in the past,” Loyd said. “They bring the rescue into the name to try and more accurately reflect kind of what we actually do more of.”


In some departments, the name rescue can refer to an ambulance, as an engine refers to a brush truck or ladder truck. In other areas, rescue can refer to the special rescue operations such as swift water rescue, high-angle rescue and trench rescue, Loyd said. In Denison and Sherman, it can refer to both.


The name change also reflects a national trend of formally-known-as-fire-departments become fire rescues. In Dallas, the department is now known as the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department. Jones said most of the departments that are changing names have EMS components.


“We’re a fire department of course, but one of our goals is also rescue,” Jones said.


Denison also refreshed it’s logo and font, which Loyd said is to reflect and honor the history of the department while moving into the newer part of the fire service. Denison Fire Rescue is currently in the process of re-branding the trucks and equipment and Loyd said there are a few pieces of equipment that won’t be re-branded because those pieces might be traded off for something else.


The ambulances in Denison will also get a new paint job to boost its reflective capabilities in order to bring the vehicles into compliance with federal regulations, Loyd said. He also noted that the numbering system on the engines has changed. Previously the vehicles were given a four-digit number for equipment reference in the fleet department, but now the vehicles have been assigned in an alphanumeric system to reflect the number assigned by the county to the city.


“So when we respond with mutual aid companies, they can look and see Engine 61 and know that’s an engine and that’s Denison, and it’s at their station one,” Loyd said.


Jones said the administrative vehicles will be the first to be re-branded in Sherman, and two have undergone the branding. The rest of the vehicles will undergo the change as they are replaced.


“As our engines come to end of life and we replace those, the new ones will be branded with the new Sherman Fire-Rescue,” Jones said.


So far, Jones said, the feedback as been positive from Sherman residents and his firefighters. He said the re-branding boosts an image of professionalism.


“It not only defines what we do — better defines what we do — it kind of gives a sense of pride in the department,” Jones said. “The guys have pride in the department. Really, it’s just a change of name but it really means a lot to them.”