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History of the Atlantic Fire Dept.

Posted by: oneeye
Modified: 11/21/2012 6:48:10 AM

 History of the Atlantic Fire Department

 Not many of our citizens are aware of the fact that less than thirty years ago the only fire protection for our city consisted of an old buggey washer holding about two tubs of water and fitted with a force pump and small hose, handled by an unorganized force, aided by the use of wooden buckets. Do it said to their credit, however that these conditions were of short donation and within a short time a few of our progressive citizens met and organized a fire company with Sylvester Williams as foreman. Their apparatus consisted of 4 heavy spring wagon with a ladder hung on each side and wooden buckets and rope in the box, using this until March 10th 1877, when the city received a chemical engine, which they purchased of Muscatine at a cost of $1000, the original cost of same was $2600, and was put into active service once and was the pride of the city and department alike. On March 18,1877, the Phoenix Engine Company was organized with the following officers: Pres.-J.R. Morris Jr; Vice Pres: A.C. Jones; Sec: W.B. Temple. March 19,1877, the first regular fire department of Atlantic was organized with officers as follows: H.A. Smith, Chief; Ed Peck, Foreman Engine Co. C. McCrea, 1st Asst. Foreman; Ed Mose, 2nd Asst. Foreman; A.D. McCall, Foreman of Truck; Kit Willey Asst. Robert Shields and A.J. Nelmeyer,Police. Soon after the completion of the organization the city purchased a ladder truck of Council Bluffs for the amount of $200. There was a large concern with the steering gear to help the boys around the corner. This truck was later replaced with the truck now in service and built by J.H. Nuedles and Son of this city, and which, with a touch now and then, will possibly be able to do service for many years. The truck and chemical engine at this time was the entire apparatus until the completion of the water works and the more complete organizations of the fire department. The hose carts were purchased in 1882 and the Whitney and Phoenix Hose Companies took charge of them. In 1893-1894 there was an addition of the juveniles, which after 2 years of efficient service, were disbanded. The department has always taken a great interest in the Iowa Firemen's Association and has been represented at the majority of the tournaments either by a running team or delegates. In 1880 the first running team was sent to Marshalltown. In 1891 at Council Bluffs the Phoenix Hooks won 2nd place 48 2-5 and in 1882 at Muscatine they won the belt and state record in 46 1/2 seconds, which stood until 1890, when Audubon Hooks reduced it to 44 1/2 seconds. At Waterloo in 1893 the Hooks again ran on a very heavy track in 49 1/2, the Manchester’s making it in 47 1/2, but were protested by the grounds of professional, which was sustained and the Phoenix were given the belt. At DesMoine's in 1884 they again won the belt in 48 1/2, making the third time and becoming their property. The department rested until 1887, when the Whitney Hose running team was sent to Sioux City and made a creditable showing by winning one second and third money. Again in 1888 the Whitney's were sent to Chariton where they made a creditable showing. In 1889 they were again sent to Council Bluffs, but a smashed coupling came here with no additional honors. In 1892, the Hooks won the belt and again 1898 at Sioux City. Not until 1896 did they again venture forth and at Red Oak in that year at the Southwestern Iowa Tournament they won first in the hook and ladder and second in the fire alarm. In 1900 the Western was held in this city but Atlantic did not compete. In Audubon in 1901 Atlantic won all the first moneys again at Avoca in 1902, and again in 1903 at Malvern, winning the Association cup and purse. At Corning in 1904 they tied in the hook and ladder race with Red Oak and first in the straightaway hose race. At Corning Mr. Rapp the present chief, entered the Chief's Race and he came out with the honors of "he also ran." In 1966 the convention was held in Atlantic and he we go again in 2006 for Convention City...which was a success! We have been serving Atlantic since the late 1800's. Atlantic Fire was based out of the City Hall in downtown Atlantic. In 1983 the time came to build and expand the Atlantic Volunteer Fire Department. The Fire Department was donated a new building just west of Atlantic on Hwy 6. The Fire Department was growing and new apparatus were introduced as the years went on. Atlantic Fire, like all departments, went from open cab trucks and wooden buckets, to closed cab ladder trucks, SCBA equipment and protective turn out gear. The institution has come along way for the better, and we are excited to grow and provide a better and safer environment for our community! Thanks

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