October 4, 2004
Antique fire helmets, gear and equipment, including the first city-bought hose cart, will be part of an exhibit opening Tuesday that highlights the history of the Chandler Fire Department.
Chandler firefighters have been working since April to design, construct and gather the pieces for the permanent exhibit at the Chandler Museum, partnering with Lowe’s Home Improvement for funding and volunteers.
What began as a volunteer firefighter department has turned into a modern-day department with about 160 firefighters.
Chandler fire Capt. Scott Wall, who helped coordinate the exhibit, said one area of it will have a mock bay station area.
Another part of the exhibit will feature a timeline of the history of the Chandler Fire Department, various pictures, old badges and old helmets from firefighters with ties to Chandler, Wall said.
An old helmet from a Wisconsin fire captain whose son and grandson are with the Chandler department will be part of the exhibit, as will the helmet of a New York firefighter whose son also works for Chandler, Wall said.
"We believe in the museum and believe in preserving the city’s history," said Wall, president of the Chandler Firefighter’s Association.
"We truly have some neat stuff, and we’re very proud of being involved with this," Wall said.
Chandler Battalion Chief Jeff Clark, who also helped coordinate the exhibit, said he hopes to include more interactive activities for kids to learn about safety.
Video and stories from former firefighters, including the first paid fire chief, George Knight, will also be included in the work-in-progress exhibit.
George Knight’s son, Ron Knight, is a battalion chief for Chandler, and his son, Craig Knight, is a firefighter in Chandler, bringing three generations of Knights to the department, Wall said.
"It’s good for the firefighters to know where they came from, and it’s important for everyone in Chandler to know their history and what made Chandler what it is today," said Clark, a firefighter for 13 1 /2 years. "We’re proud of our heritage."
For information on the Chandler Museum and the firefighter exhibit, call (480) 782-2717.
History on display
What: Official opening of Chandler firefighters’ exhibit
Where: Chandler Museum, 178 E. Commonwealth Ave.
When: 11 a.m. Tuesday