Jackson, AL, founded in 1816, is located in Clarke County, about 65 miles North of Mobile, AL.
Jackson has had an active fire department for 90 years. The Jackson Volunteer Fire Department was started in 1927. During this time only 4 men have served as fire chief, W.W. Andrews, George W. Skipper, Jr, Neal Bradley, and Bobby Brooks.
The first truck was purchased in 1929 for $6500, a 1928 American LeFrance. It was the only truck in the tri-county area for many years. There were no uniforms for the early fireman, not even coats and hats or gloves. They fought fires in whatever they had on at the time.
There were 18 members in 1948 and the JFD had a Class 9 rating. With better equipment, training and an improved water system, JFD gradually upgraded to Class 7, then Class 6. In Oct. 1981 the Jackson Fire Department achieved a Class 4 rating, the first all volunteer department in the state to qualify for this rating.
In 1950, Chief Skipper organized the first Fire Prevention Week activities. In 1960 Miss Fire Prevention was added. Also in 1960, JFD added Junior Firemen, ages 16-18, and the Cadet Program, ages 19-23. JFD was the first fire department in the state to organize both juniors and cadets.
There are currently 55 senior firefighters, a safety officer, a public relations officer, and 8 mobile units, plus the chief's and assistant chief's vehicles. The units include three pumpers, two aerial units, a rescue truck, a service truck, and one 3000 gallon pumper/tanker.
Jackson has three stations where equipment is housed, the Downtown Station, built 2011-2012, the North Jackson Skipper Station, 1986, and the West Jackson Station, 2017. A brick training tower was completed behind the North Station in 1998.
There are many men and women who volunteer their time and services to the Jackson Fire Department, but one stands above the rest. O.S.Conerly actively devoted himself to this department for more than 75 years. He served under all 4 fire chiefs. He retired in early 2009.
Jackson Fire Department