Fire Department kicks off centennial celebration

JCFD Capt. Darren Reuter gets a high-five from a young admirer during the department’s centennial kick off Sunday.

JCFD Capt. Darren Reuter gets a high-five from a young admirer during the department’s centennial kick off Sunday. Photo by Madeleine Leroux.

The Jefferson City Fire Department is celebrating 100 years of full-time service, and kicked off the celebration Sunday with a special ceremony and the hanging of celebratory flags throughout the downtown area.

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Capt. Tim Young said Sunday marked 101 years to the day since the Capitol building burned down for the second time. It was that fire, caused by a lightening strike in 1911, that led to the creation of a full-time paid city fire department.

He said though the first paid fire department did not begin until 1912, the city had established a small volunteer department beginning in 1842, just a few years after the first Capitol fire.

Firefighters and their families gathered at the corner of High and Monroe streets, the location of the first city fire department, for a ceremony that included a presentation by Lorraine Adkins, president of the Cole County Historical Society. Adkins presented a ceremonial trumpet, to be loaned to the department for the year, to Chief Bob Rennick. The trumpets were used in the early 20th century for both speaking and ceremonial purposes.

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