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Hannibal Fire turns 175, looks to future

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HANNIBAL (WGEM) -- The Hannibal Fire Department turned 175 on June 15.

Fire officials said they hope to continue to serve their community for many years to come as they strive to get better and better.

They said they keep up to date with many kinds of training.

That's part of what has them at an ISO rating of 2, meaning they have a very fast response time, and are in the top 1% in the state.

Fire officials said they're constantly training, providing services like hazardous material, swift water rescue, and of course, fire fighting.

"EMT, you know, emergency medical that we provide and also vehicle extrication. So I think, in order to provide even better service, we just need to maintain the training that we have and continue to push forward with the needs of the city," said Hannibal Fire Department Public Education Coordinator Mark Kempker.

He said prior to the Hannibal Fire Department being established in 1846, there were several independent so-called fire companies in town.

They would actually compete to be the first ones to a fire so they could be the ones paid by the insurance comapanies.

But after one large house fire, they felt they needed more organization.

Fire officials said they were the first paid public fire department in Missouri.

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