Firefighters from all over southeast Iowa came out to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department and 50th anniversary of the Henry County Fire Department on Saturday, May 11, with an open house and training session.
The department brought in a simulation and training trailer from the Fire Service Training Bureau to train firefighters and inform the public about the kinds of training the firefighters have to do. Joe Campbell, firefighter and department secretary, said the rich history of the fire department is what makes Mt. Pleasant’s unique.
The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department was founded on May 12, 1869, after the city council decided to fund it. The city purchased a hand pumper for $300 and about 50 men in town purchased badges for $1 apiece and became the first firemen of the department.
Campbell said he was glad to be able to open the doors and welcome the community into the building because he wanted people to be able to see what firefighters do every day.
“One-hundred-fifty years is a good length of time for any fire department,” he said.