P. O. Box 76, Prospect, VA 23960 Prospect Historical Society Preserving the Past Inspiring the Future Today & Yesterday
© Prospect Historical Society, 2013

Prospect Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary

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First row standing left to right are  Tommy O'Brien, David Giles - Associate Member, Henry Shelton - Associate Member, Robby Franklin, Will Lewis, Lynn Fulcher, Reggie Eggleston - Associate Member, Ben Murdock, James Redford, Chris Morgan, and Al Mason.  Second row standing left to right are James Boettcher, Kevin Foster, Shawn Thompson, Chandon Beiler, and  Alfred Washington.  Photo courtesy of Karen Fulcher.
Seated left to right are Wayne East, Linda Franklin, and Elton Franklin.  Standing left to right are  Pat Foster, Shanna Agee, Karen Fulcher, Darin Thomas, Rosa Thomas, Denae O'Brien, Kelly Agee, and Phyllis Mason.  Photo courtesy of Karen Fulcher.
The Prospect department, of approximately ten to twelve members, had its beginnings in 1959 and was formally incorporated on  November 7, 1960. Their first truck was a 1950 pumper, which they bought from Prince Edward County as the supervisors replaced a  truck in the Farmville department. It was housed in Scottie Booker's shop at his home, next to St. James AME Church,  until the first  firehouse was built around 1963. In the early years, whoever drove the fire truck to answer the call had to drive it back and fill the tank  with gas with money from his own pocket.   The department had originally planned the firehouse location behind Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church and began clearing the land.  Deciding that the location was not big enough for a firehouse, they then bought two lots from Walter Southall, at its present location, 45  Campbell Hill Road. Volunteer work and donations made that small structure possible. From Maryland, Morris Hubbard hauled cinder  blocks, which had been donated. Many different people gave standing trees for the lumber and the late Ed Davis sawed the planks free  of charge at his sawmill, near Elam. The late Ed Johnson, owner of Prospect Equipment Company, donated all the nails used in  construction, and the original dirt floor was donated by the late Robert Meredith "Mutt" Campbell. In 1972 the kitchen addition was  added to the original firehouse. In its early days, the Prospect department would raise funds through red tag sales, hamburger suppers, and chicken cookings. The first  Harvest Sale was in October of 1960 and was held at Nordstrom's Service Station, approximately located in the present median of  highway 460 across from the Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church.   The department now has 37 active members and insures eight trucks and one van for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. New members are required to have training in Firefighter I, emergency vehicle operation, CPR, hazmat, and first aid. All members have  to stay up to date with the latest innovations in equipment and procedures. Howard Campbell and Al Mason are former presidents of Southside Virginia Firemen's Association, which includes 66 departments  between Rt. 60 and the North Carolina line and Interstate 95 and Rt. 29. Howard, Al and Kevin Foster are members of the Prince  Edward Fire Firefighters' Association, which includes seven departments. It costs around $2,500 to put a fireman on the line, which includes his uniform, air mask, safety equipment, training, etc. The Prince  Edward County Board of Supervisors budgets $65,000 a year for the department. Other monies come from the annual Harvest Sale and donations from the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. In January, 2012, the new 2012 International 7500, four-door pumper was the culmination of 15 months of work by the department’s  truck committee, composed of Al Mason, Dennis Anderson, Jamie Boettcher, Kevin Foster, James Redford, Shawn Thompson, Chris  Morgan, and Howard Campbell. Engine 41, with a 1,000 gallon tank, will be the first-out pumper on fire calls. It has the capability of  delivering 1,250 gallons of water per minute. The truck committee worked with Atlantic Emergency Services to design the pumper. The chassis was delivered in February of 2011.  Committee members made several trips to Vinton to check on the progress from body design and painting in August, through design  approval and tool placement, to a check of operation in December. The auxiliary, consisting of 11 charter members,  was formed in 1996 as the ladies auxiliary but the word "ladies" was soon dropped.  There are currently 14 members. Their purpose to serve the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department at fires, fund raising, conventions, and render any assistance at all times. They raise funds by hosting the February Pancake Supper, the April Spaghetti Supper,  and several other dinners throughout the year.  In addition they sell concessions at various auctions, at Farmville's First Fridays and at the Fourth of July event at the Farmville Airport.  They co-sponsor a golf tournament with Pamplin Volunteer Fire Department and raised monies are divided equally. They currently  sponsor a Spring and Fall Children's Consignment Sale. One of the first projects the auxiliary undertook was to remodel the firehouse kitchen. The auxiliary has purchased equipment for the fire department which includes a saws-all, power saw, positive pressure fan, lights for the new utility truck, and installed electric door  openers for the bays. The auxiliary has lettered some of the trucks and had the directional arrow painted. They also provide drinks and  refreshments on calls as needed. Their most worked-for project to date is the new brush truck. This gift became a reality in October,  2006, after combining their savings along with a generous donation to the fire department from the estate of Timothy Coleman, uncle of  fire department assistant chief Greg Coleman. The 2013 officers for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department are as follows:  Howard Campbell, president; Ray Foster, vice-president;  William Orange, secretary; Ben Murdock, treasurer; Al Mason, chief; Chris Morgan, assistant chief; James Redford, captain; Jamie  Boettcher, property sergeant; Chandon Beiler, quartermaster; William Lewis, assistant quarter master; and Lynn Fulcher, chaplain.  Kevin Foster is a member of the board of directors. The 2013 officers for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary are Linda Franklin, president; Wayne East, vice president; Rosa  Thomas, secretary; Phyllis Mason, treasurer; and Karen Fulcher, historian.