City of Louisville Fire Department Policies, Procedures & Standard Operating Guidelines
Engine 1 "BIG RED"Engine 1 is a 2009 Ferrara Fire Apparatus Rescue Pumper Purchased in October 2010.
Researched by J.J. Jenkins LFD Department Historian
Records indicate that prior to the time of 1914 to 1915 the City of Louisville’s fire protection consisted of what was called “The Bucket Brigade”; this is where everyone in the community was a member and passed buckets along to be thrown on the fire, if a fire occurred the residence’s would sound an alarm by firing a gun, ringing a bell or blowing a whistle, the residences would bring barrels of rain water, buckets, ladders and other needed tools to the scene of the fire. Every home had a well and they used these wells to provide a supply of water for firefighting.
The community did the best they could with the bucket brigade. You can only get so close to a fire with a bucket of water. A structure fire such as a house fire can reach temperatures exceeding 1000°F, at this point water turns to steam and can burn a person without protective clothing. Many of those who fought these fires with the bucket brigade would have to rest from heat exhaustion. You can only throw a bucket of water maybe 5-6 feet for so long.
The community was hit hard in the four years from 1910 to 1914. Three disastrous fires occurred in the north side of Main Street. One burned all the stores and buildings from the Blon-Harris Building to the Rogers Building. Shortly after this tragic event another fire destroyed all buildings from the current location of Winston Furniture Company to the Lee Building (Now Moody’s Upholstery). The third razed the building from the Rogers Building to the store we now know as Tabor Drugs Store.
These led to the community coming together to develop the Louisville Water System in 1914 or 1915 they made the decision to install water mains and Fire Plugs (or Hydrants) throughout the City. Each Plug could provide 200 PSI of water pressure. This led to the construction of a 75,000 gallon elevated water tank located at the City Well which was located at the Water & Light Plant near the original City of Louisville Train Depot.
The first equipment purchased for fire fighting was 500 feet of 2 ½ inch fire hose. The community still did not have a fire truck they had a hose reel cart. This two wheeled cart was pulled by firefighters and the hose was on a large reel so the 500 feet of hose could be pulled to the fire. The community would have someone stop on the way to the fire and pick up the cart and tow it behind a car or truck to the fire. The person towing the cart would stop and connect the hose to the fire plug and lay the hose to the fire and putting a nozzle on the end to fight fire.
The community still did not have a lot of equipment two of these carts were located at designated locations in the city; one was located in a tin shed on the site of the former Firestone™ Store and the other was located in a tin building on the site our current City Hall occupies. Although having no organized department the community was moving forward and many fires were contained or extinguished with this equipment.
The summer of 1924 brought a group of young men together to form the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department. The desire to better their small town and make it safer for their families and friends; the first fire house was located on North Columbus ST in the now Citizens Bank building (at the time the RG Brown’s Buick Building). This new Fire House held the Fire Hose Carts and gave the newly formed Volunteer Department a location to conduct meetings and drills.
In 1926 the Firefighters asked the City Fathers for a Fire Truck. The City Fathers agreed and the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department purchased a 1926 American LaFrance® Pumper with a capacity of pumping 350 gallons a minute. When they went to house the fire truck it barely fit, they had forgotten that the car’s barely fit in the building when they went to retrieve the carts. This became a worry and the Fire Engine was housed in several locations including the Coca-Cola® plant, the rear of Louisville Motor Company building and a building just south of the McCully’s Grocery store.
In 1942 a second engine was purchased it was a 1942 Barton American Fire Engine mounted on a Chevrolet Chassis. This engine could pump 500 gallons a minute.
In 1952 the 1926 American LaFrance® Pumper was retired and the city purchased a new apparatus from the ST. Louis Fire Truck Company.
In 1962 the city of Louisville found it fitting to build a new Fire House. The station was constructed on North Court St. The new station was needed to provide the space for the bigger apparatus and to meet the needs of a growing community. The contract was let to L.B. Preister and Son Inc. of Meridian for the amount of $24,527.00. The completed building was 3344 square ft and included offices, kitchen, bunk room, showers and restrooms.
In 1964 the City of Louisville acquired another new apparatus a 1964 International Fire Engine.
In 1967 the City of Louisville acquired a new chassis a 1967 Chevrolet truck and remounted the pump from the 1952 ST. Louis Fire Truck Company engine on to the new engine. The 1942 Barton American Fire Engine was sold to the City of Weir during this time.
During the 1970’s to 1980’s the City of Louisville Volunteer Fire Department continued to serve the City of Louisville and began to assist Winston County on providing fire protection. The department began to transition to a combination department, meaning that both career and volunteer firefighters serve the community as one department. This led to the City of Louisville assuming the ownership of the Fire Department and the designation of the first fulltime employees of the Louisville Fire Department being the Fire Chief then Engineers or Driver Operators.
In 1997 the City of Louisville purchased a new engine a 1997 Fire Line™ Engine on a Ford L8000® chassis with a 1250 gallon per minute pump.
In 1998 the City of Louisville approved the construction of a new Fire Station at 304 South Spring Ave, our current location; this was needed as the size of fire apparatus again began to outsize the previous fire station on North Church St.
In 2003 through an Interlocal Governmental Agreement with Winston County, Mississippi, the City of Louisville received a 2003 Fire Line™ Engine on a Sterling ® chassis with a 1000 gallon per minute PTO pump. During this time the City also acquired a Brush unit to combat grass and Wildland Fires, and a small rescue truck to assist with the responsibility of service to the community for vehicle extrication.
In 2010 the City of Louisville Fire Department through the Interlocal Governmental Agreement with Winston County, Mississippi started to respond to the needs of the county by supporting departments with the Tender owned by Winston County for support to the 8 county departments. This has allowed for the 3500 gallon Tender to respond quicker to fires in support of the departments and communities in Winston County.
In October 2010 The City of Louisville Fire Department received its newest apparatus a 2009 Ferrara™ Intruder 2® Engine this apparatus carries 1000 gallons and can pump 1500 gallons per minute. The City of Louisville by acquiring this apparatus allowed for the return of the 2003 Engine to the county which in turn allowed every department in Winston County, Mississippi to have assigned to it a rated Class A pumper (this means every department in Winston County has at least 1 apparatus that can pump more than 750 gallons per minute). This has given the community of Winston County, Mississippi more fire fighting capabilities to protect our family, friends and visitors.
As the City of Louisville has grown and the community has changed the City of Louisville Fire Department has responded to many fires some of the more memorable fires are the Gordon’s Department Store Fire and the McCully’s Grocery Store Fire.
Our department has responded to many fires both in and outside the community, to our neighboring communities of the City of Philadelphia and the Town of Ackerman, Mississippi.
The City of Louisville Fire Department has a long history of membership with the Mississippi State Firemen’s Association and work to regularly attend the annual conference to represent the City of Louisville Fire Department and our community.
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