FELLOWSVILLE- While 2020 caused issues for some of the surrounding fire departments, the Fellowsville Volunteer Fire Department (FVFD) has not had as many setbacks due to them being a volunteer-based fire department. Training has been limited to the FVFD, but it has been for mostly all fire departments.
Chief Matthew Clarkson shared, “I’ve been with the department for about twelve years, and I would have to say that the hardest hit for the FVFD during this COVID-19 pandemic would have to be our fundraising efforts.”
Fire Chief Clarkson shared that he estimated the department responded to approximately 80 calls this year. He further revealed the FVFD assisted in several Taylor County fires this year, and the largest fire the FVFD attended was the vacant house fire in Grafton, or the Main Street commercial building fire, which was also in Grafton.
Fortunately, the Fellowsville area didn’t have any large fires throughout their own town this year, but the department was happy to assist the local Grafton Fire Department when needed.
FVFD is comprised of approximately 23 volunteers, serving the area with one engine, one tanker, one brush, one tanker and one pick-up for transportation. Chief Clarkson shared the FVFD is still looking for more volunteers for the fire department.
“It’s always good to start them off young, get to show them the ropes and the more volunteer firefighters we have the better, being volunteer based is not like a normal job you never know who will be able to be at work from a day to day basis, we all have to work together,” he expressed.
Chief Clarkson reported he has an assistant Chief J.R. Wolfe, and his youngest volunteer member would be eighteen-year-old Hunter Hershman. Hershman just graduated his fire class.
The FVFD also underwent a few renovations over the past year. Clarkson revealed that although they are working on adding onto the back of the dining hall, the department took this year to focus on the small projects.
Chief Clarkson shared the biggest goal for the department in the upcoming year is to survive COVID-19, and get back to normal with their fundraising. In 2021 the FVFD has high hopes of being able to attend the annual tractor pull fundraiser and annual Buckwheat Festival.
This year with proper social distancing the FVFD hosted three different chicken roast dinners. The department hopes to be able to continue the chicken dinners into 2021, as well.
For information on when the dinners are being held along with tractor pull, and buckwheat festival details you can like and follow the FVFD Facebook page.
Chief Clarkson sent out his deepest gratitude to all other fire departments who respond when called upon for assistance, along with all law enforcement, EMS and State Fire Marshals Office.
“My favorite part about being Chief would be staying involved with the community and working with all my volunteers as a team. I’m thankful for being a part of the fire department this long, I enjoy it” expressed Clarkson.