Albany Firefighters ask your help with their history book - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Firefighters ask your help with their history book

May 17, 2007

Albany -- Albany Firefighters are putting together a history book of their department, and they are asking for your help.

In putting this book together they have discovered some surprising pieces of Albany history that still remain. You might have passed the fire bell in front of the Fire Station on North Jefferson many times, but did you know it was one of their first bells dating back to 1881.  And people in Albany would yell to ring it if there was a fire.  Deputy Chief David Eddins said "whoever was there would pull on the rope that was hanging outside, that was hanging outside the station to ring the bell, to alert the people they had a fire."

 This was a big advance for Albany communication. Before that, the signal was a gun. Eddins said "at night if there was a fire and someone saw it, they would take a handgun and shoot it into the air five times. That would let people know that there was a fire."

 Research for the history found maps of Albany when it was only five square blocks, showing where fire cisterns were located. Much to their surprise one of the 50 thousand gallon water containers still remains in place behind a building in the 200 block of West Broad. Eddins said "today we have the yellow hydrants sitting on the corners. This is the old day hydrant is what they had."

Firefighters have gathered a lot of history. There were three volunteer fire units, until Albany formed a professional paid fire department in 1893.

There have been only 12 Chiefs, with Bill Brosnan serving as chief for 40 years, from 1911 to 1951.

One firefighter today is the fourth generation to work for the department.

Now Firefighters ask the community to share historic pictures they own. Eddins said "if they've got pictures of the fires, fire trucks, fire personnel, if they would please bring them to us."

Firefighters hope to have their history book completed in six months. They say it's a family history, wanting to include every firefighter's picture and name in it, as well as a history of the Albany community.

If you bring historic pictures to the Albany Fire Headquarters, they will scan them and give them back to you then.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=afdhistorybook

 

Powered by WorldNow