Demopolis Police Department
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Demopolis Fire/Rescue Mission Statement
As members of Demopolis Fire/Rescue we will use all resources available to provide quality fire suppressing and extinguishing fires, handling emergency medical services, hazardous material response, vehicle extrication, rope rescue, disaster response and other types of emergencies to protect life property and environment for the citizens in the city of rivers.
The first meeting to establish an official volunteer fire department in the city of Demopolis was held at the courthouse on June 22, 1869, but the meeting was inconclusive. Another meeting 9 months later on March 22, 1870 was successful, and more than thirty men were enrolled as Volunteer Firemen. At a third meeting on March 31, 1870, the group adopted the name of "The Eagle Hook and Ladder Company No. 1", and elected its first officers. Thus the Demopolis Fire Department was born. The newly formed Eagles' were given $1000.00 by the Demopolis City Council to obtain their first fire wagon with all the necessary accoutrements. The contract to build the wagon was awarded to a local carriage maker and the wagon was delivered in early October.
The newly formed and equipped fire company was fully ready for service by November 7, 1870, and received its first alarm on Monday night January 9. 1871 at about 7 pm, which turned out to be nothing more than a few burning boxes and old cheese barrels. The Eagles' first big fire was at a large mercantile establishment on the night of February 26, 1871. The fire began in a shoe room and spread rapidly. Very little of the inventory was recovered but the warehouse was saved, "though badly scorched". Cinders flew across the street and ignited a residence and several other buildings, but these flames were also quickly extinguished, and so the Eagles had their first trial by fire.
This fire though, highlighted the problem of the fire company's inadequate water supply, the solution was to form an auxiliary bucket company. In the next two weeks more than sixty black men of Demopolis signed up as official members of the Eagles' bucket company. Since these early beginnings 130 years ago in our city's long history, the Demopolis City Fire and Rescue Service exists today as a highly professional, full-time, paid fire department.