Smokey the Bear was once invited to Hartselle by Fire Chief Prentiss C. Hill  to help promote fire safety. | Courtesy of the Hartselle Historical Society
Smokey the Bear was once invited to Hartselle by Fire Chief Prentiss C. Hill to help promote fire safety. | Courtesy of the Hartselle Historical Society

Archived Story

Saluting police and fire

Published 12:46pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

Annual Down Memory Lane to feature public safety

Down Memory Lane is taking time during this year’s Depot Days festival to look back at the history of Hartselle’s police and fire departments.

Lee Y. Greene, member of the Hartselle Historical Society, said the research for this year’s Down Memory Lane has been rewarding, especially for both departments.

“The police and fire department don’t have much of their history recorded,” Greene said. “They’ve been especially receptive and helpful because they’ve been wanting to learn more about their history and compile more of their history. They’ve been great to work with.”

Greene said the fire and police departments have been a part of Hartselle since its early days. Records have shown that there has been a police force in Hartselle as early as the late 1800s.

As a part of the project, the historical society has been trying to track down a list of all of the Hartselle Police and Fire chiefs. They have identified many of them, but they are still researching their information to see if there were more through the years.

They are also attempting to locate pictures of any of them if possible.

In addition to that, Greene said the program will focus on how the departments have changed.

“Our fire department started as a bucket brigade back in the early days,” Greene said. “There were a number of major fires back in the day. We’ll talk about how improvements in technology changed over the years and what were the major turning points in the history of the departments.

“The Hartselle Police Department has thieves and criminals out of our town for many years,” Greene added. “The police department will have a display of some of their crime-fighting equipment while the fire department will display their ladder truck. Both will answer questions about their duties.”

Down Memory Lane will be Sept. 16 at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center. The displays will be available for viewing at 5:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Greene also asked if anyone had photos or information about the Hartselle police and fire departments to contact the Hartselle Historical Society. Contact Lee Greene with pictures at 256-773-2304. Contact Bettye English with stories and memorabilia at 256-773-9390.

For more information, log on to the Hartselle Historical Society’s page on Facebook.

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