Amarillo Fire Department houses unique items in their museum
Fri, 29 Mar 2013 03:05:00 GMT —
Over at Amarillo's Central Fire Station, tucked away in a corner of the city's oldest station sits a room dedicated to the memories, history and traditions of the city's fire fighting efforts dating back to 1897.
A couple of years ago, Lieutenant Dana Havlick was working over at the administration building and overheard plans to create a location to house and display everything and being something of an historian, he volunteered.
"I poked my head in the door and told them I would be interested, and the next thing I knew, it was mine," recalls Havlick.
He started pouring through the huge cache of photos, papers and logbooks that held forever a moment in time. The very first responses by the hook and ladder brigade can be found, neatly documented inside the documents dating back more than 115 years.
"The old bucket brigades that used to try and put fires out and pull old buildings down,"recalls Havlick.
Mostly, they are routine calls, but occasionally, he'd find noteworthy reports... like the time they had to try and get a monkey out of a tree...and it's still unsure if the 400 gallons used were to convince him to come down.
Then, there's the story of it's most famous employee.
"That he worked here and it was his stepping stone to stardom," says Havlick.
One of his best stories revolves around Country music singer Roger Miller from Erick Oklahoma. There were rumors he worked for the fire department, but no official documents to tie him to the city.
"Came to work here for about 3 months, and then he slept through a call because he was up a lot of the nights playing his music around the area, and was asked to seek other employment," says Havlick.
While he had no proof to begin with, not long after it was known that Lt. Havlick started gathering information, he received an anonymous package with Miller's documentation.
"I got this envelope in the mail that had all his records and it was mailed anonymously."
He believes someone just came across them one time and kept them as a souvenir until it was noticed they were being cataloged.
There are antique firefighting equipment on display up to the newest technology...and some of the newest additions...pieces of the world trade center from 9-11.
"We have two pieces of the World Trade Center...that was specifically requested and that's a very unique thing as we know the sacrifices made by firefighters.
His favorites are the old photos he's had the privilege to go through and display, that captures that micro second in time of the firefighters that have gone before him.
Tours are welcome and they like showing off their history to everyone from students to firefighters from all over who stop in to see it.
And unless they're out on a call, they'll be glad to show you around. In the Panhandle Spirit at the Central Fire Station in Amarillo.