The Opelika Fire Department is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a community-wide celebration on November 9 from 4 – 6 p.m. The event will be held at at 4000 Gateway Drive in Opelika. It will also serve as the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the new Station 5.
Citizens of all ages are invited to enjoy food, games and fun. In addition, there will be tours of the new facility.
“The history of the OFD is strong, as are the men and women who serve this community. I’m proud of our humble beginnings and feel fortunate to work alongside the finest first responders in this country,” said OFD Chief Shane Boyd. “We want to share our history while we welcome in our new station. The new station is going to improve response time to the citizens in Opelika. We hope everyone will come out and visit with us.”
History of OFD:
In February of 1873, a group of Opelika men met at the home of Mr. J. H. Lockhart to discuss the possibility of creating the city’s first fire department, and by September of the same year, the Opelika Fire Company was formed. “Resolved, that the members of Opelika Fire Company banded together for the protection of life and property in the City of Opelika, we pledge ourselves, one to another, for the interest of the movement that we will keep our organization intact. And whether our first efforts are flattering or discouraging, we will know no failure until every effort has been exhausted.” (Opelika Observer, September 25, 1873 as
stated in The History of the Fire Department in Opelika Alabama book by Enda Ward) Shortly thereafter, the first firefighting apparatus, known locally as, The Extinguisher, was acquired and put into service.
Mayor Gary Fuller adds, “In the proceeding 150 years, the Opelika Fire Department has evolved into a highly sophisticated public safety rescue organization. They are dedicated to providing excellent service to the citizens of Opelika and are the best first responders in the country. I’m extremely proud of what they do!”
For more information, contact Leigh Krehling at 334.705.5136 or [email protected].