On Thursday, 19 June 2017 at 6:30 P.M. in the Senior Citizen Center, we held our monthly membership meeting with President F. Martell Grover directing and who gave a welcome to fifty-five members and guests. Guests recognized were Ron and Brenda Garner, Gordon and Cheryl Williams, Steve Bunnell, Doug and Jill Conway and Steve Parkinson (who joined earlier this year).
The Opening song was “America the Beautiful” with Sylvia Walker at the piano and Carol Ladle directing. The Opening prayer was offered by Doug Ladle. The pledge of allegiance was led by Alton Wilde.
We then enjoyed an awesome meal provided by Alton and Paula Wilde and their food committee. It consisted of various soups and bread with a dessert of apple pie and ice cream. Birthdays and Anniversaries that occurred since our last Membership meeting were recognized by Ken Hart.
Louis Clements presented a short history of the Telephone service in Rexburg. Some significant points made were that 1883 was the first telephone in Idaho. 1897 the first telephone company, the Snake River Telephone Company, in Rexburg with 12 customers. In 1911 Mountain Bell bought out the Snake River Telephone Company and had 139 customers. This continued to increase until in 1972 there were 8,142 telephones in Madison County with 6,500 of those in the city of Rexburg. At the time they had ten operators serving.
Doug Ladle introduced the speaker for the evening, David Davis, who was accompanied by his wife, Charley. He is from the Rexburg Fire Department and had been a seminary teacher when Brother Ladle first knew him. In 1988 he went on a mission to British Columbia, Canada. He also drove a bus for the Fire Fighters in West Yellowstone, Montana. He currently is the Assistant Fire Chief in the Madison Fire Protection District.
His message for the evening was on the history of the Fire Department in Madison County. As he moved through his talk he showed pictures of the various designs of the Fire Station from 1910 until the present time and told the reasons for the increase in the size and capability of the building.
Part way into his talk Brother Davis had three members of the Rexburg Fire Department bag pipers present three numbers. The numbers were “Scotland, the Brave”, “Amazing Grace” and “Bells of Dun Blane”. Brother Davis explained that each Fire Department has a distinguishing tartan that represents its clan and each bagpiper has a distinguishing emblem on their stockings.
He said that in 1976 the name of the Fire Department was changed to “Madison Fire Protection District” with three Fire Departments, Rexburg, Sugar City and Madison County. Because each area had their own funds and equipment, it was difficult to remember which fire equipment belonged to which entity so they had red trucks for Rexburg and Sugar City and yellow for Madison County. In 1984 Funds were provided so that they could have a unified system which solved some of these problems.
He described the methods of fighting fires and that they started with one person initially who
Stayed in the station with volunteer firemen who came when needed. At the present they have: 20 career fire fighters/EMT or Paramedic, 5 live-in Fire Fighters/EMT, 5 class A pumpers, 1 109 foot Areal or ladder truck, three 3,000 gallon water trailers, 7 wild land engines (which brings revenue back to the Fire Department when they go to help fight wild fires in other areas), 2 Rescue trucks, various commercial vehicles and trailers and 6 Ambulances. The Madison Fire Department protects 450 Square miles with a population of 38,273 people.
In 1998, because of needing a place to be housed, the ambulance and drivers were admitted to the Fire station. In 2001 a fire station was built and manned in Archer.
They have received 530 calls a year for their fire trucks and 2,500 calls a year for the ambulances.
He concluded his talk with a question and answer session wherein many useful and informative items were covered.
President Grover announced the ticket number for the door prize. The prize was Volume 4 of the Rexburg History compiled by the Madison County Historical Society and was won by Bob Pyle.
The closing prayer was offered by Ken Hart.