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A while back, Danny Cooper contacted me about stopping by my firehouse. He visited and we had a great time. The other day, I was heading back to Roanoke and knew I would be passing his firehouse and wanted to stop by. Danny is a 2nd Lieutenant and the Property Sergeant for the Hampden-Sydney Volunteer Fire Department Company 2 (HSVFD) in Prince Edward County, VA. The department’s territory includes Hampden-Sydney College and a large part of Prince Edward County.
I always appreciate being able to visit firehouses. My father used to take me around to various houses when I was younger. This is something he still does today. We take in a firehouse every once in a while when we are together as well.
The department began in 1970 (potentially prior, but that is the date they use). Some of their history is here.
“The Mcllwaine Hall fire in 1957 finned the College’s resolve to have its own fire department; after students prevented the Farmville firefighters from doing their job, the chief wrote the College and said they would never again answer afire call to the campus.” (source)
The HSVFD runs about 130 calls per year. They aren’t the busiest, but they get the job done when they need to. As a matter of fact, they rely heavily on student firefighters from Hampden-Sydney College. Currently, they only have about a half-dozen active members until school starts back up. Then they will swell to several dozen. They don’t have a live-in program, but I told Danny they might look into it to in order to potentially boost membership and availability of members. In addition, it can help out with rooming for their firefighters. If you need more information on Live-In programs, I recommend checking out FDLiveIn.com.
I saw evidence of a 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the firehouse. Evidently, several members went to Richmond last year and climbed. Read more about it here. The tags from the firefighters they climbed for still hung in the firefighters’ lockers.
The Hampden-Sydney FD has a pretty decent set up. They have a big firehouse with 4 double bays. It isn’t the Taj Mahal, but it works perfect for what they need. I spoke with Danny about their needs as a department. He told me that they are good to go with the exception of turnout gear. Much of their gear needs to be replaced due to age and wear.
They have utilized grants in the past and are hoping to get a grant for turnout gear in the future.
Their apparatus is another thing…They have some very nice looking apparatus!
Engine 2-1: 1996 Pierce International Chassis. 5-Man Cab, 1250 GPM Pump, 1000 Gallon Booster Tank, HazMat Equipment, Full assortment of Hose and Tools.
Engine 2-2: 2006 Smeal Sirius II. 6-Man Custom Cab, Cummins 400 HP, Waterous 1500 GPM Pump, 1000 Gallon Booster Tank w/ 50 Gallon Foam cell, Front-Mounted large-diameter intake, 2 1.75″ 200 Ft. Crosslays, 200 Ft. 1.75″ Jump Line, 200 Ft. Booster line, 1000 Ft. 4″, 700 Ft. 3″, 500 Ft. 2.5″ Preconnected to Highrise Pack. Full Assortment of Tools.
Tanker 2-6: 2005 Freightliner American LaFrance Conversion. 3-Man Cab, 500 GPM Pump, 2000 Gallon Booster Tank, 2100 Gallon Drop tank, 1000 Ft. 3″ Hose, 250 GPM Portable Pump.
Truck 2: 2005 Smeal Sirius II 75′ Aerial. 6-Man Custom Cab, 75′ Heavy Duty Aerial w/ Pre-piped waterway rated at 1250 GPM, 2000 GPM Pump, 400 Gal. Booster Tank, 200 ft. 1.75″ Trash Line, 2 – 200 Ft. 1.75″ Crosslays, 200 Ft. 2.5″ Crosslay, 1000 Ft. 4″ LDH, Stokes Basket and rigging, Full assortment of Tools and Scene Lighting.
Utility 2-8: 2002 Ford F-250 Ambulance Conversion. 2nd-out BLS First Response, Capable of Transporting 7 Firefighters, Rehab Supplies, Full assortment of BLS, Wildland Firefighting, and Haz-Mat Equipment.
Brush 2-4: 1987 Chevy 3500. 2-Man Cab, 250 GPM Pump with Class A Foam System, 250 Gallon Booster Tank, 10 Foam Cell, 200 Ft. Booster Reel, Full assortment of Wildland Firefighting Tools.
EMS 2-9: 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV. BLS First Response, Full assortment of BLS equipment, Panasonic Toughbook.
David P. Bruce
On May 9, 1981, David P. Bruce (Hampden-Sydney College Class of 1985) was fatally injured responding to a house fire alarm. The firehouse is named after him. He is the only Line of Duty Death for Hampden-Sydney FD. I found this information and some more from this link (go there and search for “Bruce”).
One other thing I will add is that back in January of 2008, I was traveling from Richmond to Roanoke passing through Prince Edward County. I passed two firefighters responding POV in the other direction. I decided to see what was going on. I followed them to the Prospect VFD and asked what was going on. They informed me there was a house fire nearby on Twenty-Two Road. I had my camera so I followed the units to the fire. Several companies from Prince Edward County responded including Hampden-Sydney, Pamplin, Rice, Darlington Heights, and Prospect if I remember correctly.
While there, I was able to snap over 300 pictures. This was originally shared on VaFireNews.com. Some of them are below.