Big Island Volunteer Fire Department
 
  • September 7, 1951 - The American Legion Post 217 and the Big Island Ruritan Club met at Marshal's Store and were sitting on "Red Dog" dog food sacks and drink crates, to form the Big Island Volunteer Fire Department.

  • November 4, 1951 - First Officers were elected: President- Sidney Brown, Vice President- Cecil Curry, Secretary- Bill Woodfin, Treasurer- Clayton Douglas, Chief- Harry Downey, 1st Assistant Chief- Bill Tanner, 2nd Assistant Chief- Bill Wood.

  • November 26, 1951 - Bought first fire truck a 1938 Oren-Chevrolet from Bedford Volunteer Fire Department for $2000.00.  Couldn't receive truck until Bedford's new truck arrived.

  • December 4, 1951 - Answered first call, a field fire near Powell's Store.  Members had to use brush and rakes to put fire out, we had no equipment.

  • January 14, 1952 - Bought a chain driven, open cab American LaFrance fire engine for $150.00 from Edinburg VA.

  • January 21, 1952 - Bill Wood and Walter Burks brought the truck to Big Island. The mill manager for National Container gave the department a check for $150.00 for the truck also they stated the company was installing three hydrants in the mill fire line for the community.

  • March 10, 1952 - Purchased the lot for the firehouse, cost $750.00.

  • May 5, 1952 - Voted to sell community calendars.

  • May 28, 1952 - Groundbreaking ceremonies held for new firehouse.

  • June 2, 1952 - Ceremony held for the truck arriving from Bedford.

  • July 3, 1953 - Started digging foundation at 6:30 pm.

  • December 1953 - Fire Department held first children's Christmas party.

  • July 19, 1954 - Lynchburg Fire Department donated 250 feet of fire hose.

  • July 1954 - Ordered first ten fire coats and hats.

  • September 6, 1954 - Installed furnace in firehouse.

  • December 10, 1954 - First annual fireman's supper.

  • August 1955 - Held our first fireman's carnival.

  • February 1956 - Purchased chassis for a tanker.

  • August 1956 - Began a waiting list for people who wanted to join the department.

  • January 1957 - Motion made to have a Ladies Night program with a supper.

  • January 1959 - Voted to purchase a 1955 Ford chassis with a 1600 gal tank.

  • September 1959 - Tanker was put into service.

  • April 1960 - Voted to extend firehouse back 30 feet, work started immediately.

  • July 1, 1960 - Received the first donation from the county for $700.00

  • December 1960 - Sold the American LaFrance fire truck.

  • April 1961 - Installed telephone in power house at Owens Illinois for receiving fire calls. Citizens would call the mill to report a fire.

  • October 1961 - Installed siren at mill. Mill employees would set off the siren to notify members of a call.

  • January 1963 - Purchased FWD fire truck form Lawrence Trucking.

  • April 1963 - Assisted in fighting structure fires at The Natural Bridge Hotel and at Montvale High School.

  • February 1964 - The Ladies Auxiliary was formed.  The fire department helped push for the road upgrade from Eagle Eyrie to Snowden and also upgrade the Snowden Bridge.

  • March 1965 - Bought first Scott Air Pack.  The Ladies Auxiliary purchased the second one for the department.

  • April 1965 - Purchased first two way radios.

  • December 1965 - Held first annual Ladies Night.

  • June 1966 - Motion made to purchase new truck from Oren Corporation.

  • July 1966 - Motion made to trade the FWD fire truck for the new pumper.

  • January 31, 1967 - Received first new truck in the department, 1967 Ford Pumper.

  • April 1967 - First time department had to purchase county tags.

  • July 1968 - New Chevrolet Chassis bought for a 1600 gal Tanker.

  • October 1968 - Traded the old Ford Chassis (snub nose) for a floating pump.

  • August 1969 - Hauled 200,000 gallons of water to the tank on Sunset Hill so the mill could wash up from Hurrican Camile.

  • January 1970 - Purchased new hose reel and pump for the Chevrolet Brush Truck.

  • July 1970 - The State Police used the firehouse for finger printing criminals.

  • March 1971 - Purchased new FWD Dodge truck and installed pump and tank at the mill.

  • March 9, 1972 - A propane truck wrecked and exploded in Coleman Falls.

  • September 1972 - Changed the water to the firehouse from the school water system to the mill water supply.

  • October 1973 - Received the voting machine for November elections.  Joined the Virginia State Fireman's Association.

  • September 1974 - Joined the Bedford County Fire Commission.

  • October 1974 - Purchased two 100 watt radios and a portable generator.

  • 1981 - Bedford installed "911" system.  Furnished each fireman with a pager and a radio for each truck.

  • 1982 - Purchased a new Fire Truck from Grumman, a 1982 Ford Pumper.

  • 1983 - Eight fireman passed Firefighter I.

  • 1984 - Purchased land beside Firehouse.

  • August 8,1987 - Held first, and last "Trash Can" dinner.

  • April 1988 - Held first Beef Dinner.

  • April 1989 - Purchased 10 kw generator on wheels.

  • October 1990 - Held first pancake and sausage breakfast.

  • November 1990 - Received two new trucks from Ferrara. Tanker and Wagon.  First white trucks in station.

  • November 1993 - Started first gun raffle.

  • November 1994 - Expanded building to today's standard.  Purchased 100 kw generator for the firehouse.

  • March 1995 - Received new Dodge Brush Truck.

  • December 1996 - Purchased copy machine.  Purchased computer and new furniture for radio room.

  • January 1997 - Started Firefighter I class in Big Island for 20 members.

  • August 1997 - Firefighter I was completed.

  • January 12, 1998 - Firefighter II was completed everyone graduated.

  • October 1998 - Big Island gets its first Instructors in the department.

  • February 1999 - Made Honorary and Lifetime Membership in Bylaws.

  • March 1999 - Associate membership approved.

  • January 3, 1999 - Purchased a leaf blower for the Brush Truck.

  • February 7, 2000 - Truck committee made motion for a custom pumper to be purchased from M&W.

  • February 21, 2000 - Voted for the second meeting to be a training meeting.

  • February 28, 2000 - Held first bingo at firehouse, a joint effort between the Big Island Vol. Fire Department and the Big Island Emergency Crew.

  • April 3, 2000 - A junior membership was approved.

  • May 1, 2000 - Bedford County started paying the fuel bill for the fire trucks.

  • May 1, 2000 - Thirteen members became Confined Space Rescue certified.

  • August 7, 2000 - Bedford County gave the department its first Command Car.

  • December 4, 2000 - Purchased a six man custom cab & chassis for the new 2001 M&W-HME engine.

  • February 5, 2001 - Purchased a fax machine and a new printer for the computer.
  • April 2, 2001 - Purchased a hose testing machine.  Named the new truck "Pumper 2"

  • June 2, 2001 - E.V.O.C. is held in Big Island.  Sixteen fireman are certified.

  • June 4, 2001 - A committee between Big Island Volunteer Fire Department and Big Island Emergency Crew was formed to find land to build a joint station. Committee disbanded shortly after. 

  • June 6, 2001 - Sent Engine 2 and a 4 man crew to Bedford to standby at the D-Day Memorial Dedication.  President George W. Bush was the key note speaker for the dedication.

  • August 6, 2001 - A dual head radio was donated for Pumper 2.  Carpeted floors in the radio room and the meeting room were replaced with green and tan tile.  M&W was given the equipment list for the new truck do to being the lowest bidder. 
  • September 4, 2001 - Ordered 50th Anniversary shirts. 
  • September 11, 2001 - Was dispatched to stand by at the station to man the station for a 24 hour period due to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

  • September 14, 2001 - Pumper 2 comes to Big Island.

  • October 1, 2001 - Started painting the station.  A large amount of money was sent to the families of deceased New York Fireman and New York Police Department, that were killed in the attack of the World Trade Center.  The money was donated by the citizens in our community.

  • October 16, 2001 - Vinyl floor in kitchen was replaced with tile, the Ladies Auxiliary donated the money to replace the floor.

  • October 20, 2001 - Celebrating our 50th Anniversary.

  • January 26, 2009 -  Purchased a 1994 Pierce Arrow Engine from Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County Maryland (Former E331).