BUCKHANNON — The holiday season is a time that many people plan to rest and relax; however, for firefighters, it is a season to be prepared for anything.
Neighbors, friends, co-workers, and families often celebrate holidays together and firefighters are no different. Many firehouses act as a family unit, spending time with each other outside of the stations. With this being said, volunteers may have to leave their families during holiday celebrations to help protect the people of their communities.
Warren District Volunteer Fire Department is like many of the departments in Upshur County. The group works together to protect the community of Hodgesville and Upshur County. The station, located at 5678 Clarksburg Road, Buckhannon, is home to 18 volunteers from the community.
Being a volunteer firefighter may seem like too much to ask, but for the right person questioning their ability, this may be just the right fit. Fire Chief Bill Green, who has been a member with the fire department for over 25 years, continues to do his best to equip the volunteers with the proper training and maintain certifications, which is vitally important.
Each department in the county is given a certain amount of state funding, but most of this amount is used for certifications and training. WD VFD along with every other department, county and statewide, is required to maintain the station’s engines, helmets, and other equipment.
To maintain safety regulations on all equipment and cover all other expenses, the volunteers organize and hold fund raisers. Just recently, multiple trucks from WD VFD were parked outside of Buckhannon Buffalo Wild Wings for a partnered fundraiser. The restaurant partnered with the department to allow for portions of all purchases that evening to go to Station 6.
Pre-Covid fundraisers were held by the department more often. Some of those fundraisers included bingo and gun raffles. The department has calmed backed away from fundraisers for safety. Currently, Warren District’s fundraising committee is throwing around some ideas for future events that could include a golf tournament and a gun bash.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of being a firefighter or a police officer. Growing up, my grandpa was actually a founding member of Warren District and I watched him, and the other volunteers do everything they could to get the money to start the department. I watched them stand on the side of the road and do boot donations,” said Firefighter Marcus Miller. “I admired all the work they put into making the department happen and I wanted to be a part of that. After my grandfather passed away, it relit the fire I had to help.”
“I just wanted to help the community. Three of my friends and myself were sitting around thinking of ways to occupy some of our time while helping. We all decided to join the department. Two of us are currently active in Washington District, while one has taken some time for the new addition to his family, and the other is active in another department,” said Firefighter Cole Kelley.
If anyone is interested in volunteering with Warren District Volunteer Fire Department, applications can be picked up at Station 6 on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. If there is no one at the station, interested parties can message the Warren District Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page with any questions or call the station at (304) 472-7060.