When I went to the fire station museum there was a tour guide named Sandra Faulkner who told me that in 1928 the two fire departments were put in the same building! One department was on one side of the building and the other on the other side of the building and they had separate fire poles to slide down.
The names of the two fire departments were the button company and the Atlantic hook and ladder company. There was a big rivalry between the two companies. The residents of New Bern would gather around the fire to see which company would get there first.