3 In Your Town: 150 Years of the Chattanooga Fire Department – WRCBtv.com

In early 1888, the Chattanooga Times raised the funds with which the fire fountain was erected near the courthouse. Florence Gerald, a member of a Casino Stock Company playing in Chattanooga at the time of the fire that claimed the lives of Peak and Iler, wrote a poem dedicated to them. Copies were printed by the Chattanooga Times and were sold by firefighters and school children for 10 cents. The money was spent on a monument fountain on land donated by the city at the intersection of Lookout and Sixth streets and Georgia Avenue. The current statue is a replica of the original and occupies the same location.

In 1911, the most revolutionary change came in the fire department, the automobile fire truck. Horses still made up a majority of CFD, but it would be a major turning point for the city.

As RH Hunt’s buildings grew in the city, the fire department had to adapt. And adaptation is the theme of the firefighters. Although the town of Chattanooga experiences an average of one house fire per day, firefighting accounts for only about 10% of the department’s activity.

“From the medical side to the non-emergency medical side,” explained Chief Hyman. “Not to mention some of the more technical aspects of our job. Urban search and rescue, confined space rescue, rope rescue, trench rescue, collapse rescue, vehicle extrication, there are so many facets to our work that require a lot more education than ever before. . We are responsible for a lot more things these days.

The chef says it’s just a testament to the men and women who do the job every day and how much training it really takes to keep all of those skills up to date. And of course, there are also the intangible factors.

“I think 99% … 99.9% of our firefighters already have the character trait of being an assistant,” Miller said. “That they want to help. What we firefighters have to do is give them skills. This is what we do on a very basic level. The desire to help is there, the character trait. is there. We’re just developing that and giving skills, abilities and tools to do this job in a very real and tangible scenario in public. “

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