Fire Department - Blazing Through History

For many years, the City of Cartersville relied on volunteer firefighters. In the 1870's and 1880's "reel" or "running" teams providing, fire protection for the community. These teams were made up of some of the most prominent young men of the community, and to belong to the team was an honor; to be dismissed from it was a disgrace.

The firefighters of those days were more like cross-country runners than firemen. Their job was to take a reel, a large two-wheeled contraption with a fire hose wrapped around its axle, and by holding its long handles, run with it to a fire. The city bell was located at the intersection of North Erwin and Church Streets. When someone reported a fire, the bell was rung to alert firefighters. One ring signified a fire in Ward One of the city; two rings meant fire in Ward Two. Five rings meant that the downtown area was in danger.

By 1909, firefighting became a little easier when the city made use of horses pulling fire wagons carrying barrels of water. Finally in 1918, the City of Cartersville purchased its first motorized fire truck, an American La-France model. The city recently refurbished this old truck, and proudly brings it out for parades and other special occasions.

For most of the city's firefighting history, a fire station of some sort has been located at the corner of Church and Erwin Streets. In 2012 this changed for the first time with the FD Headquarters and Station 1 being moved to 195 Cassville Rd. The old two-story brick station that was at 19 N. Erwin St. was erected in 1916 at a cost of $11,480. Local contractors Robert W. and Eugene W. Smith erected the building to house the fire and police departments as well as City Hall. An addition in 1979 provided additional space for modern day fire trucks and equipment. As the city grew, greater fire protection was needed, and now four fire stations protect the town. Stations are located on Cassville Rd, Peeples Valley Rd, West Ave. and Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
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