PEEKING INTO THE PAST: Albemarle’s ‘Call Force’

Published 2:51 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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In August 1978, Jerry Kerley joined the Albemarle Fire Department as the new fire chief. At the time, the department had a “call force” in addition to the full-time firefighters. The “call force” were men who, according to the June 4, 1979 edition of the Charlotte Observer, were “alerted whenever the city’s full-time firefighters need help battling blazes.” When Kerley had joined the department, he found that the “call force” had just four members. Over the year that followed, Kerley added 16 new members to the force. What made this group unique was that there were three women. During the early summer of 1979, 18-year-old Terri Carpenter, left, 19-year-old Kimberly Hinson, and 25-year-old Linda Jo Bogle became the first women firefighters with the call force of the Albemarle Fire Department. {Lewis Bramlett – Stanly County Historical Society}