An old fire bell and a new focus going forward will highlight special community lunch and celebration at the Pratt City FIre Department this Saturday.
The Pratt City Fire Department plans to celebrate 100 years of service to the Pratt community Saturday, December 14, with ceremonies scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pratt Fire Department, Third and Jackson. The public is invited to the events, which will include a hot-dog and hamburger lunch.
“We will have a program that focuses on historical remembrances and on looking forward to serving our community,” said Fire Chief David Kramer.
A highlight will be the unveiling of the 130-year-old original fire bell that has been refurbished, as much as possible, to its former glory.
Until last September, the 1,500-pound bell had hung in the tower of the former First Baptist Church at Second and Ninnescah. Prior to that, it had hung in a special tower at the east end of the former City Hall at Second and Main streets. It had not been used to summon volunteers to fires for several decades.
The bell was cast in 1889 by the Stryker Welding in Ohio, forged from 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin.
Pratt Mayor Doug Meyer, who will be in attendance, praised the 24-member department.
“I’m extremely proud of our fire department,” Meyer said. “They work hard and train hard and their dedication is just unbelievable. I think they’re the best volunteer fire department in the state of Kansas.”
Other officers of the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department are Deputy Chief George Stevens, Captains Todd Hoffman and Dan Decker and Lieutenants Chad Van Slyke and Taylor Schmidt.