Thursday 4. June 2020

History of the Voluntary Fire Service in Příbor

holder of the decoration "OF MERIT " and of honourable flag of ÚV SPO

Of the fire protection in our town we find reports and numerous records in the Municipal Records Office and in the documents of local craftsman's guilds, records reaching deeply to the 17th century.

Their content corresponds to then political circumstances and modest technical possibilities and they especially distinguish themselves by disorganization and randomness.

With development of the town and especially with continuing industrialization increased also possibilities and causes of fires, to which it was not able to stand up fully under the certain technical situation.

Local committee under the town clerk František Peřina issued on the 12th January 1865 the first fire regulations of the town Příbor, in which the rules for firefighing of outbroken fire are included but also the bounties for the assiduous help by protection of town are determined. The main fault of these regulations was neglect of preparation of the citizens to fight with fire, so according to the eyewitnesses we can say: "During the fire everybody did alone and many times there were more of those, who cried and decided than those, who worked effectively. After the fire there were enough of people, who came to the local office for reward for a real, sometimes even imaginary help."

So happened that the results of relief work often used to be negligible, which was shown in praxis when before the Christmas of 1866 under bitterly cold a factory of fezes and cloth was burnt down to the ground with all the facilities and stocks.

In spite of this expensively paid reality it took still whole five years untill the idea of foundation of fire service won.

According to a sample of foundation of fire service in Nový Jičín in 1870, a town clerk of Příbor František Preissig notifies to the local committee on the 16th March 1871, that in Příbor was established "The Voluntary Fire Service". The first commander was František Peřina. In the course of 10 years this service however broke up because of the intolerance of the members and also because the leading was of german origin. In 1881 a fire service was newly established, in its foreground stood the former Příbor's chaplain P. A. C. Stojan, who stood up for the fact that the official language and leading were czech, he became a secretary of the committee and his aide-de camp during the fires, scalfed himself with fire axe he participated in the firefighing and so served as an example for the other menbers.

Commander of the service became schoolmaster of teaching institute in Příbor Josef Janoušek. To these two outstanding men belongs also school inspector Rudolf Ludwig - native of Příbor, who became vice chief of the fire service of Příbor. Janoušek - Stojan - Ludwig - that was trio, that was not only instrumental in re-establishing of the fire service of Příbor, but was also of great importance even for formation of district fire unity for the northeastern Moravia. That is also the reason why to these men a commemorative plaque was dedicated, that was fastened at the town hall on the 5th July 1931, during the war it was removed by Germans and refastened on the wall of town hall in 1947.

The whole 130years' history of our fire service is carefully recorded in the chronicle of the voluntary fire service in Příbor, which the former chaplain of Příbor and secretary of the fire service, later archbishop of Olomouc dr. A. C. Stojan started to write. This rare book was found by coincidence in 1924 at the town hall of Příbor and in 1940 it was determined by Nazis to waste paper. It was saved by commander of firemen Josef Kaluža Sr. and secretary Bohumil Klauda, who had the book professionally repaired and in the history of fire service went on other chroniclers till the year 1985. This book contains not only interesting events from the fireman life, but also from the town and its surroundings. In the chronicle we find records of the fires, floods and various even political events in our town and its surroundings. Further it contains even the manuscript of Stojan, his farewell papers to fire service and also autographs of prominent quests, as president dr. E. Beneš and Mrs. Hana Benešová, who visited Příbor on the 17th July 1946, Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Masaryk, who participated in unveiling of the monument of president the liberator T. G. Masaryk on the 25th May 1947 and general Ludvík Svoboda from the 23rd April 1959.

Since 1986 a new chronicle was founded, that is kept by our chronicler Vladimíra Sklenovská. It this chronicle there is autograph with dedication of president of firemen in the state Texas - USA marshal Alfréd E. Gerik, who visited our service in May 1986.

On the 24th June 2001 our fire service was visited on the occasion of the festival of brass bands in the town Příbor a town clerk of town Rehlingen-Siesburg Mr. Martin Silvánus and historian of the firemen of this town Mr. Erhard Grein. They took a good look at the small exhibition on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of foundation of our service and they made a record into our chronicle through the words "to Got to the honour, to neighbour to the protection ".

The activity of the fire service of Příbor is very extensive. The service was responsible not only for firefighing but also for the work with the river Lubina, that flows through the town. When it overflew, became the Benátky of Příbor a real Italian Benátky. Lubina overflew not only round Benátky, but also into the town streets, it took bridges, footbridges and everything that stood in the way of it.

The fire service participated as well in the cultural course of events of the town. For long years it had its own public library, which was later handed over to the town. It organized a great many of balls, trips, Venetian nights, competitions of fire teams, raised young people and devoted its time to the youth. All this work was made by the members selflessly for their service and public.

During the foundation the fire service received from our village three old fire engines, two bigger for horse transport, a small engine on the handcart, several hand engines, further about twelve hemp hoses, several hooks and two ordinary ladders. These facilities was located in the passage of the old town hall. In 1891 the service moved to new fire station and arranged for the purpose of faster reporting of fire alarm for the telephone line from the tower of parish church to the flats of commander, vice commander and staff trumpeter for night watchman.

Nowadays the fire service has a new fire station, that was buildt by the sweat of its brow from the building of Ground Buildings and in 1964 they moved to this building. Since then - with today's view - primitive operation again fire the fire service in Příbor wields a modern operational technic, and thus: CAS 16 Š-706, CAS 32 T-148, DVS 12 A-30, A-30 trailer, Š 1203, lighting assembly, three fire engines, smoke extractor, basis radio station, three radio station engines and thirteen pagers and sufficient amount of arsenal and equipment. The unit is put into integrated rescue system of the district Nový Jičín as JPO II. with departure time till 5 minutes.

The Voluntary Fire Service Příbor has nowadays 83 men and 16 women, i. e. together 99 members. 130years' tradition of the service is a historical landmark on the first hand, on the other hand also obligation and responsibility for subsequent activities. That is why it is more than obvious, that our members, long-time holders of famous traditions, progress, fights for better tomorrows, even this time stand in the front row of builders of our beautiful town. In the 130year's fight and in hundreds of selfless fire operations and natural disasters the firemen of Příbor obtained respect of citizens not only in their town, but also in the wide surroundings.

We wish to today,s firemen and to their followers so their work is as successful as in the past 130 years.



Type: History
LAST MODIFY: Pavel Náplava (Pavel Náplava - COLOR Studio) org. 139, 27.10.2003 v 10:35 hodin