Raleigh honored its fire department Saturday in celebration of its 100th anniversary. The party began with a fire truck parade and included a display of fire trucks, a kid’s area, firefighter competitions and even some birthday cake. Among the items that on display was Raleigh’s first fire alarm bell. The 1,000-pound, solid bronze bell dates back to 1870, a span of 142 years. The bell’s permanent home is the Raleigh Fire Museum at the City’s Keeter Training Center.
According to the city, fire protection and fire prevention have been part of Raleigh’s history since the City was established in 1792. Raleigh’s original planners designed the first public streets to help prevent fires from spreading block to block, and trees were left intact, also for fire prevention.
In 1912, the City’s fire protection services were ramped up when volunteers turned those duties over to a paid, professional force. Thus, the City of Raleigh Fire Department was born.
Check out the images of Saturday’s celebration. Click on an image to view full size.