The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 1, 2013

Clinton Fire Department: A walk through time

CLINTON — In a few years the Clinton Fire Department will celebrate 125 years in existence with little to show for it in the way of artifacts. It’s a deficiency Fire Chief Mike Brown and Battalion Chief Creighton Regenwether hope to end with the help of the community.

Brown and Regenwether plan to turn the former secretary area at Central Fire into a room filled with historic memorabilia. Regenwether even created a two-tier wooden display case to exhibit the fire department’s relics. The space would become the starting point for tours, but would also fulfill a need within the fire department.

“Unless you understand where you’ve been, how can you move forward?” Brown asked.  

A number of fire department items are on the display at the Clinton County Historical Society, and the department has a few items such as an old alarm box that used to alert the department of a fire before the days of 911 and the record book of every firefighter that has ever served in the department. Beyond these items, department officials believe an abundance of artifacts could be floating somewhere in the community unbeknownst to them.

Even the fire department’s original charter has eluded the department’s officials.

Brown asks residents who have an artifact or know someone who does to help support the mission to create a historical display by donating or lending them to the fire department.

Specifically Brown said he would like to see old helmets, coats, uniforms, badges and old nozzles, but would appreciate any historical item. He would also like to see old photos that highlight the department’s past and potentially get a computer running that would display videos and other written artifacts during tours.

While Brown and Creighton can remember the past based on stories from former firefighters, they would like to have the physical remnants.

“The badges used to have a one, two, three or a four on them depending on the station. We don’t have any of those,” Brown said.

They hope to learn about the past too far removed for Brown’s 26 years of experience or Regenwether’s 33 such as the time when horses were still vital to ferrying the firefighters to a scene.  

“We have to remember,” Regenwether said. “There’s probably stuff out there that I wouldn’t even know.”

Currently all the firefighters are making trips to the historical society to see the items that exist and get a sense of how far firefighting in Clinton has come. Soon department officials hope they will be able to reflect on the history within their own four walls, but advise they won’t be able to without the help of the community.

“I just think it’s only fair for somebody to get this stuff together,” Brown said. “It’s part of the department’s history.  It’s part of Clinton’s history.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Iowa man accused of torturing, killing bald eagle

    An Iowa man has been charged with torturing and killing a bald eagle.

    A federal grand jury in Des Moines returned an indictment Wednesday against Jason John Thomas.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Northey Burkens committed to ag education CLINTON -- As the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey said his department doesn't hand out the Good Farm Neighbor Award arbitrarily. Only 10 acknowledgements are bestowed each year. On Wednesday, the honor went to a worthy family in Clinton C

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • World Book Night 1 Clinton Public Library hosts largest World Book Night event in the country

    CLINTON -- With more than 21 titles and 800 copies to give away, what reader wouldn't adore an event like World Book Night? Organizers at the Clinton Public Library wondered the same Wednesday, and were pleased with turnout for the third annual event

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amid Russian warning, Ukraine's in a security bind

    Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would mount a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine. Although he did not specifically say Russia would launch a military attack, his comments bolstered wide concern that Russia could use any violence in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for sending in troops.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video