History of the McDowell Vol. Fire Dept.
On April 28, 1978, the ladies of Stonewall District met at the Highland Primary School in McDowell for the purpose of organizing a Ladies Auxiliary for the McDowell Volunteer Fire Department. The purpose of the Ladies Auxiliary is to assist the MVFD in any way possible to raise money for fire equipment and the up-keep of the department. At the April meeting, forty ladies committed membership of the auxiliary members.
On July 1, 1978, men within the community met to clear the land that was donated by Mr. Ben Hansel and the McDowell Presbyterian Church. The now formed Ladies Auxiliary served lunch in the neighboring church each Saturday as the men would work on the construction of the future home of MVFD.
The McDowell Volunteer Fire Department was officially organized on July 6th 1978. One year later on July 1, 1979, this first building was completed and proudly dedicated into service during a public ceremony. The service was so well received that periodically the department continues to hold similar events today.
In the spring of 1982, the members of MVFD were able to begin the process of working toward an additional goal set forth by the department. This was the creation of a substation being constructed in Doe Hill, Virginia. The land for this new addition was graciously donated by Mrs. Helen Mines and Mrs. Dorothy Stone. The Ladies Auxiliary was again able to assist in the project by providing lunches for the men as they worked to complete the structure. With the combined effort of the men and women of the department and the auxiliary, this project was completed in the early part of 1983.
In 1985, the department realized the need to expand their ability to cover the area in which they served. This initiated the endeavor of building an additional substation in Head Waters, VA. The substation is located on land which was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Elmo and Orpha Varner. Progress on this project was delayed due to the Great Flood of 1985 which struck the area that fall. However damaging the flood was, we were more fortunate than many with no major damage resulting from the raging water. Despite the delay, the substation became operational in 1986.
McDowell Volunteer Fire Department is comprised of three companies within the Stonewall Fire District. The Company designations are Companies 2, 3 and 4. The main station, which is the original structure, is located in the town of McDowell, Virginia at 102 Bull Pasture River Road with the designation of Company 2. This station is were our meetings and fundraising activities regularly take place. The two substations designated Company 3 in Doe Hill Virginia and Company 4 in Head Waters, Virginia. Go to the Stations and Apparatus page for pictures and more information on the stations and the apparatus they house.
MVFD currently provides mutual aid response to the remaining departments in Highland County including Monterey, Blue Grass and Bolar Fire Departments. Services are also provided to the surrounding Counties of The Stonewall Fire District. These areas include Bath and August Counties of Virginia as well as Pendleton, and Pocahontas Counties of West Virginia.
Currently with approximately 25 active firefighters, 3 firehouses, 8 pieces of apparatus, the Ladies Auxiliary and the support of the community, we are able to continue to serve the community today and into the future. Meetings for the fire department and the Ladies Auxiliary are held on the second Monday of every month at 730 p.m. at Company 2. If you are interested in joining the department or the auxiliary, join us or contact us today.