08/29/10 955 W, 2 I - + 13 - 6 Six Forks Fire Department, 1971 - Part 2

Here's the second article that appeared in the June 16, 1971 issue of The North Side News. The image quality is lower, as these were scanned from a photocopy. Sorry about that. Click to enlarge each.


THE FLEET STANDS READY - The three trucks of Six Forks Fire Department stand by to answer any call.


COMPLICATED CONTROLS - The pump of Engine number 1 is intricate as well as beautiful. When in operation, manning this station is no easy task.

The Volunteer Fireman, What Kind of Man?

By Glenn Griffin

They meet every week for drills and instruction. They are on call every hour of every day. Danger is their working partner. Disaster is their enemy. Yet they serve, and they do it gladly. They're like the old Tennessee Vols: "spirit and courage" are their middle names.

Out on Six Forks Road, they are known as the Volunteer Fire Department. With no monetary compensation, these men risk their lives for the security of the community. The only benefits they receive are those offered under a group accident and life insurance policy that is effect from the time of the alert until the time they return home.

Although the word "volunteer" precedes their names, these men are professional firefighters. They receive training from the State of North Carolina in the form of 12-hour courses in Firemen's Training. They study basic firefighting tactics at W. W. Holding Technical Institute. They have training in the field of medical self-help. Recently, the department attended classes on first aid. Part of the course involved instruction on how to deliver babies. The Six Forks department also participate sin the county training programs at the local schools.

Besides the fine training, these volunteer firemen are equipped with the latest gear. Their "turnout gear" consists of heat resistant coats and pants, steel soled boots, badges, gloves and helmets. The coats and pants are also waterproof. In addition, the firemen have red lights in their cars, and the fire trucks are equipped for light first aid. Dan Danieley, the assistant chief, says "you can't feel fire through the coats and pants. Your face may be really heated up, but you body is really almost cool." The department is also equipped with Scott Air-Packs which allow the men inside smoke-filled rooms.

The dangers are real for the men of the Six Forks Volunteer Department. Chief Averette was severely burned on the hand and arm about two and one-half years ago. He opened a door and sprayed water into a room, but the intense heat melted his skin in a moment.

Dedicated Servants

The Life of a Fireman


Modern homes and buildings have become a new menace for firemen. The "hidden killer" is the synthetic plastic that is used in so many materials these days. When one of these plastics vaporizes, it becomes a deadly gas that will coat your lungs bring about instant suffocation. The firemen say the smoke from these materials is "gooey" and that i will coat your skin like a coating of soft plastic.

The firemen were a little dismayed by the seeming lack of concern and respect that the citizens show. They cited several instances where the trucks were unable to get onto Six Forks Road to answer a call. The heavy traffic, and people's unwillingness to pull over, sometimes made it next to impossible to get out of the driveway at the station.

"The firemen must obey the traffic laws, so it is very important that they receive the utmost cooperation from the public," stressed Chief Averette. He said that "they are depended upon the public to ull over."

Larry Ritchie, one of the firemen, said "When in doubt, call 'em out." He pointed out that people will sometimes spend five minutes trying to decide whether or not to report a fire. His advice is to call in as soon as you ever suspect a blaze. Let the firemen come check it out.

The average volunteer fireman is the guy next door. He just spends a lot of his extra time down at the station, waiting for the next call. If he's there, then the trucks will be on the way all the sooner. He has special training courses and he has special skills, and he knows how to use both.

But most of all, he has a sincere concern for his community and its people. He is truly a public servant. But he is a volunteer, and proud of it. And rightly so.

The Men

The men who serve at the Six Forks Volunteer Fire Department and the officers for the year July 1971 - July 1972 are:



Mike's Notes

Apparatus operated by SFFD, according to my records:

Looking for some old pictures of the 1970 f 900 ford american lafrance that was at six forks. My friend now owns it and I’m trying to dig up a little history for him . Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Brad Crawford - 06/03/13 - 23:22

Wow! Long time ago.
AB - 06/04/13 - 09:42

I am the one that ownes it its in harrisonburg va any pic or info would be great thanks tinker
Tinker moats (Email) - 06/06/13 - 23:44

Remember personal info?

/ Textile

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible on this site until it has been approved by an editor.

To prevent spam we require you to answer this silly question

  (Register your username / Log in)

Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.