Leeds Fire Department Update August 12, 2023 - Leeds Fire stations are more than just a place to park fire trucks. They serve many functions that are essential to a fully functional fire department. Firefighters spend one third of their lives in the fire stations. They eat, sleep, shower, and fellowship. The fire stations are also home to all of the equipment necessary to respond to emergencies.
Leeds Fire Department has changed over the years. Now, there are not a lot of fire calls. Calls have shifted to mainly emergency medical services. The fire department is continually training their firefighters.
Six years ago, the department had six paramedics. Now, it’s up to 14 on a shift and almost half of the 30 shift team members. Lieutenant Blount has just completed his paramedic license and four are currently in training.
The Dive Team is also in training. Two members, Jared Cain and Greg Jones, just received their Open Water Certificate which is equivalent to a scuba diver. The Advanced Open Water is the next certificate which is more technical and teams are also working on the Public Safety Diver. With these certifications, these team members go into the water to rescue. Team members learn search techniques on how to recover. They can utilize a large bag to float a car up out of the water.
Ten people were in class last week in the greater Leeds area including police and fire. Lieutenant Michael Jenkins is the head of the Dive Team. New divers include Greg Jones and Jared Cain.
On Saturday, many participated in a softball tournament in Pell City to benefit a local fireman.
On the first Tuesday of every month at 9:00 a.m., the Fire Department offers CPR Classes. This is a one morning class lasting 2-3 hours to get your CPR certification. There is a nominal investment to get the certificate through the American Heart Association. The next class begins Tuesday, September 5 in the training room at Station 1 and the cost is $25.
When you think of the fire department, some people think of a fireman getting a cat down out of a tree, but that isn’t a true picture of what they do. Actually, they do not get any cats out of trees, because cats always come down when they are ready to get down out of a tree.
Fire department call volume has gone up. A call to 911 should always be an emergency call for help. An emergency may be a fire, a life-threatening situation, an automobile accident, an injury that requires medical attention, chest pain, etc.
In June, the Fire department was awarded an Assistance to Firefighters grant (AFG) through FEMA which is an equipment grant for $309,200 to be used for the replacement of the departments breathing apparatus and replacement of the departments air compressor system to fill the breathing bottles. This is the largest amount they have received and are ecstatic to be able to replace this equipment at a low cost to the city and enhance their ability to serve the City of Leeds.
Leeds has two fire stations. Station 1 is located at 1051 Park Drive and Station 2 is located at 1640 Maxey Drive. Fire station tours are available for children or anyone interested in learning more about firefighters and where they live. Contact the Fire Department to schedule a tour at 205.699.2581. Remember, if you have an emergency, call 911.
Photos courtesy of Dona Bonnett and Leeds Fire & Rescue.