Department Name: Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department
Type Department: Combination
Structure: Non-Profit tax exempt
Number of Stations: 2
Number of Apparatus: 8 (3 Pumpers, 2 Specialty, 2 Tankers, 1 Brush, 1 QRV, 1 Service Truck
Do you provide EMS? Yes.
Type: First Responder
Annual Budget: $350,000.00
Area Covered Square miles: 39 square miles
Total Runs: 575 (Fire: 250, EMS: 325)
Chief: Andy Webster
Chief Officers: Deputy Chief Thomas Groff, Assistant Chief Ray Elmore, Assistant Chief Robert Lovell
Other Officers: Captain Sonny Johnson, Captain Jonathan Teague
Number of Members: 43 (Paid: 5, Volunteer: 38)
Address: Firehouse 1 – 672 Mocksville Highway, Firehouse 2 – 144 Fifth Creek Road
Community Outreach: We have a reflective address sign program that is free to members of our community. We make them at the station and if a resident needs our assistance we will install it for them as well.
The program helps our responders in finding the address of an incident quicker. So both the citizen and department benefit. We install smoke detectors, as well as change batteries, for community members in need of this service. The department and the Iredell County Firefighter’s Association provide the detectors.
We assist the Fire Marshal’s Office with fire education events at our local schools. We host Trunk or Treat on Halloween at Firehouse 1 and pass out candy as well as fire safety information to children and adults who attend.
For the past three years we have provided a meal for the football team at North Iredell High School after a mid-week practice. We have a chance to speak to the players about serving their communities as a volunteer firefighter and giving back to the community in other ways.
We also are a sponsor for North Iredell High Athletics and we send one apparatus to each varsity home football game to support the team. All of the other departments who are part of NIHS attendance area do this also. We show our community pride.
Top Two concerns in your community: Maintaining our ranks and adding to them to meet the service demands of the community. Iredell County’s population continues to grow at a rapid rate and that means a greater demand for services. We have part time staff during the daytime hours of 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Another concern is reaching out to recruit minorities to join our ranks as volunteers. We have a diverse community but our ranks don’t reflect that.
How are you fund-raising? We conduct one event for our Fireman’s Fund which is controlled by the department membership. It goes to purchase T-shirts, monthly business meeting meals and the candy for our annual Trunk or Treat event. It is a letter drive asking for a donation.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year? We are moving into our new firehouse this month. It is an emergency services facility that will have an Iredell County EMS Base, Iredell Rescue Squad crash truck and ambulance, Iredell County Sheriff Department Office and our operations. Within its 24,002 square feet of space there are five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, six offices, training/community room, kitchen, exercise room, day room, laundry, turn-out gear room, maintenance room, decontamination room, two storage rooms downstairs and two storage rooms upstairs.
We also will be upgrading the emergency and scene lighting on several apparatus to LED fixtures.
What special hazards or unique businesses in your community?
Our district is mostly residential and agricultural. Several large dairy operations are within our district that have over 1500 cows being milked every day. Those facilities provide some unique challenges. We also cover eight miles of Interstate 40 from mile marker 154 to the 162. We also respond second due to several commercial properties in our neighboring department districts.
What problems in your department that you would like feedback from others? Like most volunteer and combination departments recruitment and retention are always a concern. We are always looking to other departments to see what ideas they have that have helped with this issue.
We believe our free reflective address sign program has been a great success and a benefit that other departments could try. We place on each sign our department logo so every citizen can see the department that provides him or her.
We are proud of our community support. Our department was started in 1960 after a tragic fire that claimed the lives of five of our citizens. Within a few months of that fire there were plans in place for a firehouse, a truck being ordered and one being built by community members and volunteers signing up to be firefighters. Since that time we have had the continued support of the community. Our new facility has within it a room that can be used by the community for meetings and other events at no cost to the citizen. It is our way of saying thanks for 57 years of support.