January 19th, 2021

Exhibition grounds fire hall

By Submitted Article on May 6, 2020.

By Bobbie Fox

If you went to the fair at the Lethbridge Exhibition grounds between the 1940s and the 1970s, you may have noticed a little white building with double barn-like doors with a painted sign above them that read Fire Hall. During the week of Lethbridge’s local fair, that little building located behind the grandstand became a substation for the fire department. The Lethbridge Fire Department had two firefighters stationed at the fairgrounds. They worked in shifts to provide 24-hour-per-day service for the four days of the fair.

The Exhibition grounds’ fire hall was large enough to house an ambulance and a pumper truck. The water for the pumper truck came from a nearby irrigation canal. The firefighters were responsible for providing basic first aid in the fire hall and doing patrols of the fairgrounds. They maintained contact with the main fire hall via two-way radio and telephone. Brightly painted fireboxes and an alarm system alerted firefighters on duty of any emergency on site. The Lethbridge Fire Department occupied the tiny wooden fire hall from the set up for the fair until vendors vacated the fairgrounds.

In October 1973, city council decided to use the Exhibition fire hall as a temporary home for the animal shelter. It is thought that the old fire hall building was removed from the Exhibition grounds and found a new home in Carmangay in early 1974.

The Galt Museum & Archives has multiple documents and objects in its care related to the Lethbridge Fire Department. You can browse those in our database at collections.galtmuseum.com.

Your old photos, documents, and artifacts might have historical value. Please contact Galt Museum & Archives for advice before destroying them.

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