BUCKHANNON — Ask any firefighter worldwide if they find volunteering rewarding, and the answer you get will always be the same—it is hard work, but also the most rewarding.
Washington District Volunteer Fire Company—Station 2—houses firefighters who will give you that same answer. Each department faces their own difficulties, but all volunteer fire departments are currently facing a lack of volunteers. To say that help is needed would be an understatement.
Station 2 participates in multiple fundraisers that help bring in money for the fire house and equipment that isn’t always covered by state funding. Each year, WDVFC takes part in an event that allows departments to receive state funds by washing bridges. Yes, you read that correctly. Local firefighters wash bridges to bring in funds for their departments. The list of bridges is received around the same time that the Strawberry Festival rolls into town and finishes around October. On top of everyday life, these heroes are doing whatever they can to fund the houses they call home.
Other fundraisers are quite common when discussing ways to contribute to local fire houses. Station 2 hosts an annual BBQ Chicken Dinner that brings in many donations. Usually, the event is held the third Saturday in September. Unfortunately, the past few events were cancelled due to COVID. This year, the dinner was held as a drive-thru event with half the amount of participation to maintain the safety of everyone involved.
Station 2 Fire Chief Kevin Huffman took time to reflect on his company’s happenings over the past few years and how essential volunteers are to the communities they serve. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it is so rewarding, Huffman expressed. “The training hours are long, but if someone is wanting to make a difference in their community, it is one of the best ways to do so.”
Just like every other volunteer, most firefighters maintain everyday jobs and hobbies. If you don’t believe that, just ask local firefighters and they will be glad to share how they balance their families and careers while serving others.
“I joined the department to learn traits that will help in my career and to assist my community in times of need,” explained Firefighter Darren McFarlin, Rig Manager.
“I joined the department to help the community and work alongside my dad, who makes sure I strive for excellence and to be better than I was yesterday,” said Junior Firefighter Alona Key, a local student.
“I joined to help people and to follow in my family’s footsteps,” Assistant Chief Andy Potts, a CNC Operator expressed.
If anyone is interested in joining the Washington District Volunteer Fire Company, please take time to stop by the department to pick up an application today. Every Wednesday, firefighters fill the station to continue learning and training together. The department is located at 6338 Tallmansville Road, Tallmansville, WV 26273. If unable to stop by, feel free to reach out to their Facebook page or to Huffman directly.
Volunteering may seem daunting, but the opportunities it can offer are endless, including having a firefighting family for life and gaining knowledge that will serve yourself and others every day.