Despite the cold, rainy weather Sunday, dozens attended the 100 year anniversary celebration for the Covington Fire Department at Station No. 1 on Pace Street.
Elected officials, firefighters and their families and Covington residents turned out to remember the department throughout the years as well as to congratulate former and current employees of the CFD.
After an invocation by the Rev. Brian Dale of Allen Memorial Methodist Church and the Pledge of Allegiance, Chief Don T. Floyd welcomed the guests. He told the audience that a successful fire department needs people willing to lay down their lives for another as well as supportive families, governing body and community.
"The CFD is blessed to have all the ingredients that create a successful fire department," Floyd said.
Several speakers shared memories of the fire department.
"My first recollection of the fire department was when the station was over on Conyers Street where the police department is now," said Steve Horton, Covington city manager. Before then the station was located on Clark Street. The CFD currently has two stations – one on Pace Street and the other on Alcovy Road.
"Buildings are there and they tell us where they’ve been," continued Horton, "but those things would just be bricks and mortar and metal without people."
Several elected officials were in attendance including Covington council members John Howard, Keith Dalton, Hawnethia Williams, Janet Goodman and councilmember-elect Chris Smith, Oxford councilmember-elect Sue Dale, retired Covington mayors Bill Dobbs and Sam Ramsey, County Commissioner Tim Fleming, State Sen. John Douglas and State Rep. Doug Holt.
Many of the government officials stood up and thanked the firefighters for their service to the city.
"When we’re in bed asleep at night and you’re watching the store for us and making sure everything’s OK – we appreciate it," Douglas said. He said the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 brought the selfless service of firefighters into the spotlight.
"It’s a dangerous job and it doesn’t pay near enough," Douglas continued. "There’s no way we can pay you what you’re worth."
Part of the ceremony was to be the unveiling of a 4-foot-tall, 6,000-pound granite monument, but rain prevented it. The monument will have the names of the current city council and the council in 1909, the names of the firefighters in 2009 and 1909 and the names of all the volunteer and paid chiefs over the past 100 years.
Firefighters did unearth a time capsule buried in 1988 and Chief Floyd and Horton displayed their contents to the assembled guests. Items ranged from pictures, personnel rosters, maps and nametags to a sprinkler head and a stuffed Mickey Mouse. Floyd is currently soliciting items from each city department and individuals to be catalogued and reburied. The time capsule will next be opened for the 150th anniversary of the fire department in 2059.