Victoria Fire & Rescue celebrates 75 years

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Victoria Fire & Rescue will celebrate 75 years of service on Oct. 8 at Victoria High School, 1601 8th St., from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The organization began 2016 celebrating 75 years of service. In 1940, the Rotary Club began efforts to organize Victoria Fire Company.

On Jan. 16, 1941,  W. C. Swain was elected the first chief of Victoria Fire Company.

A Model “T” chemical truck and Model “A” pickup were listed as the company’s first equipment.

On Feb. 14, 1941, Victoria Fire Company contracted with Oren Fire Apparatus, a division of Roanoke Welding & Equipment Company for a 150-gallon tank Chevrolet fire truck with a single stage Hale pump. Victoria Fire Company ran its first fire call on March 22, 1941.

Reported in The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch on June 13,1941, “The Victoria Fire Department purchased and installed last week a new fire siren and believe me if you don’t hear this one you will not hear Gabriel when he blows his horn on judgment day. They are going to change the practice (testing) time of sounding the siren from Sat. noon to 7 o’clock on Thursday evenings. If you hear something that sounds like the wailing of all the imps in hades … Don’t bust a trace and runaway, it’s just the new fire siren.”

The first rescue efforts were in the summer of 1948 when firemen provided artificial respiration at the old Virginian Reservoir (Lunenburg Beach) to three boys to no avail. The first ambulance was purchased May 23, 1954.

These were the beginnings of Victoria Fire & Rescue. Volunteers have provided the citizens of the Victoria community with unending hours of dedication and service.

The buildings, the training, the equipment, the uniforms and the volunteers may have changed, but the dedication of the many volunteers past and present remains.