Burnsville’s VFD keeps improving

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

A year ago this time, the Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department was close to disbanding. Money was scarce. Volunteers willing to respond to incoming calls were in short supply. Morale was all but nonexistent.

Today, things are much different. A core group of about 10 volunteers has been formed.

The department is building a new facility to replace the former hay barn they have used for the past 10 years.

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And they even have a new firetruck &045; courtesy of the Valley Grande VFD.

Much of the credit, members insist, goes to their new chief, Tommy Williams.

Williams has been in and around the fire and rescue scene for nearly 30 years. He got his start with Arrow Ambulance.

He’s also worked with the Dallas County Rescue Squad, as well as the Potters Station and Jones volunteer fire departments.

Williams traces his love of firefighting to the TV drama &uot;Emergency.&uot;

Williams points out that a volunteer fire department differs from a regular fire department in several key aspects. &uot;We ain’t like Selma,&uot; he says. &uot;We ain’t sitting here 24/7. That’s why it takes a volunteer fire department a little longer to respond.&uot;

Since things have turned around the crew at the Burnsville VFD does a respectable job, though. &uot;The last four calls we had,&uot; Williams says proudly, &uot;we had a truck on the scene in less than 10 minutes. On our last house fire we saved a trailer from burning. If you can do that, you’re doing pretty good.&uot;

And like their big city cousins, volunteer fire departments do more than just fight fires.

They also respond to highway accidents, trees down across the road, and water leaks. Williams says he’s proud of the progress his men have made. &uot;The community has really responded well,&uot; he says. &uot;We’ve got a pretty good group of about 10 volunteers. We feel like once we get in our new building we’ll get even more volunteers.&uot;