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Carriere Volunteer Fire Department has long history

Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris Banks stands with the photos and memorabilia of the department history. The department was started in 1972.  Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris Banks stands with the photos and memorabilia of the department history. The department was started in 1972.
Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

Many men and women have passed through the doors of Carriere Volunteer Fire Department Station 1 since it was formed in 1972.

Memorabilia that reflects the history of the station and the great men that have served over the years greets visitors when they enter the station.

Chief Chris Banks said incorporating the history of the department came while the station was being renovated and was due to the effort of his wife, Aileen and Kathy Walker, who helps the department and takes action photos for them.

Throughout the station, the walls are covered in photos taken by Walker that have been arranged and framed by Banks’ wife.

“A lot of people come in and out that door and we wanted people to see where the department came from to where it is today,” Banks said.

Even the name of the station reflects the personal history of the department.

The station is named after Robert Wall, a former Fire District 11 Board of Commissioner president, Banks said.

“He was one of the guys that was instrumental in seeing that we got what we needed,” Banks said.

After Wall passed away a few years ago, the department decided to name the station in his honor.

The department covers about 43 square miles of the county and none of the firefighters who respond to calls are compensated for their time.

Banks said the department responds to more than just fires. They also provide emergency services and respond to medical calls, car accidents and extractions, among other emergencies.

In 2013, Banks said the fire department received 1034 calls.

He said over the years there have been many changes and the department has evolved. Banks said communications have improved and allow for multiple agencies to work together in different cases and to communicate better.

Banks said the departments depend on mutual aid and because they work together, it helps the homeowners in the county.

“If you get into it, it’s a dedication, a commitment,” Banks said.