By: Wesley Walter
Montevallo Fire and Rescue held its 44th annual Fire Prevention Parade on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The parade, which is held every year by the Montevallo Fire Department, was in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, which in 2021 lasted from Oct. 3 through Oct. 9.
Philip Hamrick, who served for 35 years as a firefighter in Childersburg, expressed the significance of the date and the event saying, “Fire Prevention Week is always the week in October that contains October the 9th, which commemorates the Great Chicago Fire. This parade is a way to draw attention to that and emphasize fire safety among the general public.”
The parade featured fire trucks and emergency response vehicles from Montevallo and the surrounding area.
This included a total of 42 vehicles from Montevallo, Brierfield, Pentecost, Pea Ridge, Helena, North Chilton, Cedar Grove, West Shelby, Four Mile, Calera, Alabaster, Dry Valley, Shelby County, Gap of the Mountain, West Chilton, Union Grove, Jemison, Maplesville, Lakeview, Pelham, Tower City, East Chilton, Summer Hill, southeast Shelby, Clanton, Indian Ford and Mercedes.
Alongside fire trucks, the parade featured the Montevallo High School Marching Troubadour Band, the Montevallo High School and Middle School football teams and Calera Middle School band.
The parade began at 10 a.m. on Main Street and ended at Orr Park, where there was a gathering featuring the fire trucks and equipment seen in the parade, booths and demonstrations centered on fire safety, as well as a children’s bounce house, food vendors and food trucks.
The National Fire Safety Association sponsored a demonstration showing the difference between a fire in a room with a sprinkler system and a room without, to showcase the effectiveness of sprinkler systems.
At Orr Park, attendees were given the chance to meet many of the area’s first responders including EMS workers and police officers, in addition to firefighters.
One notable piece of equipment featured in the parade was a Wirt and Knox Hand Drawn Fire Hose Cart used by the Tacoma Washington Fire Department. This piece of fire prevention equipment dates back to 1880.
Two helicopters were open for viewing, one used by the Shelby County Sheriff Department and one from the Children’s of Alabama pediatric hospital.
Wesley Walter is managing editor for The Alabamian. He is a junior English major and mass communications minor. Wesley boasts a 750 credit score, boyish good looks and soulful eyes that contain a deep indescribable sadness. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, visiting gas stations and thinking about getting into surfing.