The history of the Raleigh Fire Department goes on display today at a new museum downtown. The department's Historical Society has gathered artifacts and photos dating back to the Civil War era. Battalion Chief Alan Walters has served at the Raleigh Fire Department for 31 years. He says the museum shows the fire department has changed since it was founded in 1819, but the firefighters have not.
Alan Walters: "We're America's heroes, always have been. No one ever dreads seeing us pull up on the scene. They know that we're there to help. And just the tradition in the fire service of wanting to help, of willing to risk your life to save others, I guess that's what made us American heroes over the years."
Walters says museum artifacts include an alarm bell from 1870, classic fire hose nozzles, and photos from the early 1900s. The museum opens later this morning at the department's training center.