Hoover Fire Department
The Hoover Fire Department is responsible for responding to fires, medical, and hazardous material spills in Hoover. The department consists of approximately 150 emergency responders assigned to eleven fire stations throughout the city. In addition to the main department, there is also the Hazardous Material Response Unit and the Fire Prevention Bureau, which consists of 5 personnel who oversee inspections and related matters. The fire chief is Clay Bentley and department headquarters are located at 2020 Valleydale Road at the Hoover Public Safety Center.
Hoover's Fire Department began in 1962, almost five years before the city's incorporation, as the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department, with chief Ralph Sheppard and fire district president Del Hyche. Hyche and Sheppard approached William H. Hoover about where to store their first fire truck, a 1944 Mack, purchased from the Birmingham Fire Department, and firefighting equipment. Hoover donated land behind his Employers Insurance Company building off Montgomery Highway in Green Valley, which eventually became part of Hoover Court. Hoover Fire Station No. 1 stands in that location today.
In 1968, Chief Sheppard hired the fire district's first full time firefighters in order to improve the area's insurance rating, which improved to Class 6. By 1972, the department consisted of six paid and 15 volunteer staff. By 1978 the insurance rating had improved to a Class 5, by 1981 improved to Class 4, by 1983 improved to Class 3, and by 1989 improved to Class 2. The department was resurveyed in 1999 and remained Class 2.
In 1976 the city took over the full time operation of the department and its employees and hired the first full-time Fire Chief Tom Bradley, who served until his retirement in 2009. He was replaced by battalion chief Chuck Wingate, who began his firefighting career at age 17 for the Bluff Park Volunteer Fire Department, which transfered to Hoover Fire upon the area's annexation in 1985. During Wingate's tenure as chief, the department achieved a Class 1 insurance rating in May 2017, and Wingate retired that August.
As of 2021, Hoover Fire Department has eleven fire stations. The department attempts to keep all homes in Hoover within five miles of a fire station.
- Fire Department page at the City of Hoover web site
- "OK of 9th Hoover fire station will improve response time." (September 27, 2006) The Birmingham News
- Batson, Roger, Jr (May 2, 2007) "New fire station opens off Patton Chapel Road." The Birmingham News
- Batson, Roger, Jr. (May 9, 2007) "Fire department reputation glows with training, assets." The Birmingham News
- Jones, Amy (August 23, 2009) "Hoover celebrates new Fire Station No. 9." Shelby County Reporter. Accessed August 26, 2009.
- Staff (February 3, 2014) "Council moves ahead with Ross Bridge fire station plans." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (March 11, 2014) "Hoover opens temporary Fire Station No. 10 in Ross Bridge". The Birmingham News
- Anderson, Jon (May 16, 2017) "Hoover Fire Department earns Class 1 insurance rating." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (August 7, 2017) "Hoover fire Chief Chuck Wingate to retire Aug. 31." Hoover Sun
- Anderson, Jon (December 9, 2019) "Hoover breaks ground for 11th fire station in Trace Crossings." Hoover Sun