the Autumn issue of 1994 we commented on some old minute
books of the Alcester Fire Brigade. Recently, we have been allowed to examine the
Incidents Register for the period 1948 to 1989. It is a pity that the Brigade's records
are few and far between and are not consecutive but we are grateful for small mercies.
In the period under review the Alcester Brigade's call-outs have risen decade by decade: in the 1950s about 30 or 40 per annum; in the 1980s about 130 or 140 per annum. Each decade sees peaks and troughs; the peaks are some-times understandable, as in 1976, when we had an unusually hot summer - the number of call-outs was 231, the highest in any year. This contrasts sharply with 1954, when the number was only 21. What caused the low annual turn-outs we cannot tell.
The Alcester Brigade in 1911 showing both the manual and steam engine
Back to 1976, an examination of the reasons for' Brigade call-outs shows the following (probably indicative of many other years). 'False alarms' and 'services not required' total 92, a few of which are marked 'malicious'. Grass and hedge fires are 50; fires in houses, shops and factories total 31; farm buildings are 7; chimneys are 9; outdoor fires, like rubbish, are 8; car fires are 7 The Alcester Brigade also dealt with a number of non-fires, usually dangerous situations.
The Alcester Brigade not only dealt with incidents in its own area; a fair number of call-outs were to assist the brigades in Stratford, Studley and Bidford. The register does not specify the manpower involved in each incident nor the sources of the water supply. What we do know is that our Alcester Fire Service has given a century of unstinting aid to the town and its satellite villages.
Winter 1995 index