Department Name: Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
“The Eastside Engine Company”
Type Department: Fire
Number of Stations: 1
Number of Apparatus: 8; 3 Pumpers, 1 Tanker, 2 Brush, 1 QRV, 1 Air Support trailer
Do you provide EMS? Yes
What type: BLS ALS FR
Specialty Operations: Wildland Fire Suppression
Annual Budget: 180,000
Area Covered Square miles: 12.7
Total Runs: Fire: 83 EMS: 124
Chief: Andy Chatman
Chief Officers: Matt Groce – Asst. Chief; Joey Johnson – Asst. Chief
Other Officers: Brian Dudley – Captain; Tim Pardue – Captain; Timmy Ladd – Captain
Number of Members: Volunteer: 34
Address: 1069 Austin – Traphill Road, Elkin, NC 28621
Community Outreach: We provide fire prevention education during fire prevention week at the elementary school in our fire district. Hold an annual blood drive at our fire station. Host a car seat safety check in conjunction with Wilkes Safe Kids at our station annually. We host an annual trunk or treat event at our station as an outreach to the kids in our district and surrounding area.
Top Two concerns in your community: Large amount of traffic that travels NC 268 through our district on a daily basis, both passenger vehicles as well as lots of tractor and trailers. Over the last two years we’ve seen a HUGE increase of people kayaking/tubing/canoeing the Yadkin River, which flows through our district (approximately four miles), and with this increase comes an increase of calls for service.
What are you doing for fundraising? We continue a tradition that our founders started in 1958 and continues to this day, we have six BBQ Chicken Suppers starting in April and ending in October (we skip July). Annually we cook in excess of 6,600 halves of chicken. This gives us over 10 percent of our operating budget.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year? By the end of 2018 we will become a light rescue provider, by the end of 2019 we will become a medium rescue provider with a specialty in water rescue. Additionally, we are looking to secure the funding for a gear washer and dryer as well as move toward two sets of gear for our structural firefighters.
What special hazards or unique businesses in your community? Several poultry and cattle farms within our district, a garden center with lots of chemicals, a lumber yard with a lot of paint and lumber and a junkyard with several hundred cars along with numerous churches where Sunday morning attendance easily exceeds the population of our entire district.
What problems in your department that you would like feedback from others? We are governed by a board of directors that is voted on at our annual meeting each year, we struggle to get the community involved in our annual meeting and on getting members at large in our community to become board members.
What should we know about your department?
In November we will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary, we owe a huge amount of gratitude to those that served before us, laying the foundation for the strong organization that we have today. We continue to actively recruit junior firefighters, each year we (along with our automatic-aid partners Ronda Community VFD) attend career day at East Wilkes High School and East Wilkes Middle School (Ronda’s 1st due) in an attempt to recruit young men and women to join our departments.