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Mount Hermon Volunteer Fire Department
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Notes transcribed from Julian Simmons In 1962,
Gene Richardson attempted to organize a fire department and could not get enough interested people. Therefore, Gene Richardson and Arnette Burch got together and thought that if we could get another organized fire department to assist in getting one started in the Mount Hermon Community. They contacted the Tunstall Volunteer Fire Department. James Rich, a Board member of the Tunstall VFD was contacted by Gene Richardson. Kermit Law was Chief of Tunstall and they agreed to help. A Called meeting was held at the Mount Hermon Elementary School for all interested patrons of the community. The concept was to solicit interest in becoming the fourth station of the Tunstall Volunteer Fire Department. It was a favorable meeting and it was agreed that Tunstall would provide two trucks, a pumper and a tanker to help them begin and would locate it in the community in a location to allow response in all four directions. Henry and Bill Brown, owners and operators of Brown’s Texaco agreed to donate the land beside the store for the fire station. In the meantime, meetings were being held at various people’ homes throughout the community. One was held at the home of Dick Haley at the corner of Jackson Heights and Hwy 41, was the organizational meeting where officers were appointed. Jerry Dodd was appointed Lieutenant and Gene Richardson was appointed Captain of the Number 4 Station of the Tunstall Volunteer FD. A Building Fund was begin and the footings were dug with the help of residents in the community who had access to backhoes. Footings were poured and block were brought in. The block was brought up to floor level and had to fill in the ground that was not up to floor level. In some areas in lacked three to four feet in spots. Community residents were contacted with backhoes and dump trucks to bring in dirt. One Saturday, all day long, fire department members and residents worked all day and packed it and leveled it. A fine job was done as evidenced by the fact that it has not settled and no cracks have shown up in 38 years. The Building Committee consisted of E.B. Cassada, Chairman, Bob Brown, Vice-Chairman, Raymond Haskins, Julian Simmons. After the floor was poured and the block arrived, Bill Brown would come over and lay block in between customers at the store and while Henry Brown watched over the store. Bill Brown got the block up to a height that he could reach without the need of scaffold. A contact was made to the chairman of the local masons’ union who agreed to come out one Saturday and lay the block up to the roof level. Firemen spent the day mixing and hauling the mortar. The firemen themselves finished the building by putting on the roof, doors, etc. A 1942 Ford, 500gpm pumper American LaFrance, and a surplus oil tank truck with a 3½ HP gasoline engine on the back to supply water to the pumper when needed. This was 1962-63. A Dedication of the Fire Station in the early Fall of 1963.
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