The Patrick Springs Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate its 50th anniversary from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at the station on Spring Road in Patrick Springs.
“We’ll have something for everyone,” a release stated. That will include demonstrations by the department, games and bouncy houses for the kids, a memorial dedication at 11 a.m. and a parade at noon.
Free hot dogs and fixings, and other goodies also will be offered by the fire department which already gives much to the community it serves.
The department began as the answer to a question: What would you do if you saw a need in your community?
When a group of Patrick Springs residents faced that question half a century ago, they opted to lay the groundwork to impact hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
Development of the Patrick Springs Volunteer Fire Department began on July 15, 1969, when a small group of residents got together to discuss the idea of starting a fire department. The “Organizational Meeting” included 24 community minded residents, and was called to order by James Plaster, acting as temporary chairman.
Hoy Wood introduced a guest speaker, and Mr. Robert L. Morter, a state fire inspector from Boones Mill, gave a presentation of ways to organize a fire department, the equipment needed and the amount of training required. His talk ended with a question and answer period and much discussion. A motion was made by Bill Harnsberger and seconded by Lowell Layman to begin organizing the department. The motion carried unanimously and so began the department’s history.
Initial meetings were held at Providence Methodist Church. But by the second meeting two weeks later, a new place was agreed upon to temporarily house a truck. A motion to exercise the option carried and the wheels of the new department picked up more steam. The next motion was to be recognized as the “Patrick Springs Volunteer Fire Department.”
A month later, on Aug. 15, training began with 15 hours of basic training provided over five nights. In September, the group was introduced to Mr. Hugh Whitlow of Salem, a dealer of fire apparatus and gear. This meeting was instrumental in the department in securing its first truck, a 1948 International pumper in October. Also, in October, land was purchased for the new facility. By November, the group had secured a loan of up to $20,000 from the Patrick County Bank and construction had begun at the site – which also is home of the current facility.
“In March 1970, we purchased our second truck, a 1955 Chevy tanker truck,” according to a release from the department.
A devoted group of firefighters spent many hours fundraising over the next few months and years. The monies were used to help maintain the station and be ready to respond when called.
Although many things have changed — the department now houses and maintains five units; three pumpers, one tanker, and a brush unit and has more than 30 members on the active rolls; many other things remain the same.
“We still strive to be the best we can be for your protection, and we still need your help. We spend lots of hours training and lots of hours fundraising — all for the opportunity to serve you,” the release stated.
On July 27, “we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to each one who gives to help us by inviting you to come and celebrate out 50th birthday,” the release stated.
The department also welcomes the sharing of old photos of years gone by. “We would love to see them too,” the release stated.
If you or your group would like to participate in the parade, call Galen Gilbert at 694-4342.