The History of Company 4
The Fine Creek Volunteer Fire Department has a proud history dating back to 1974.
Powhatan County was originally protected by the Powhatan Emergency Crew which operated from one station located in the Courthouse area. In the mid-50's, the ambulance portion of the Emergency Crew separated, forming the Powhatan Volunteer Rescue Squad, and the fire department was then named the Powhatan Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD). The PVFD provided fire protection to all 272 square miles of the county for almost two decades.
A group of men in the eastern portion of the county realized a need for more immediate fire protection for their homes after a house fire on Bourbon Lane not far from the station’s current location. They gathered for a meeting at the St Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Fine Creek Volunteer Fire Department was formed in May of 1974. The name came from the magisterial (voting) district in which the department was located.
Land for the fire station was donated by a local family in the area. The location is at the corner of Huguenot Trail and Judes Ferry Rd. It took a long time for the department to come up with the money to build the station. The station would not be completed until 1976. Prior to the station being finalized the members kept the first fire engine at charter member Frank Perkins’ home. When the company received a call, they would respond to Frank’s house to staff the unit to respond to the call.
Phone trees were commonplace for several years to receive notification of calls for service. The first year that Fine Creek Company 4 was available to respond to calls, they handled 14 calls for service. Several local families had multiple family members on the original member list to help get the department up and running. This would be common practice for our department for it is 45+ year history.
The 1980’s would give way to a highly active membership as well as a ladies auxiliary for the department. Company 4 was the first company to put a special service unit in service for the county. That unit would become a salvage and overhaul unit for house fires. The department has a proud nickname called the “The Black Sheep”. That nickname began to take root in the mid to late 80’s. The name really meant a company of members that would show up and get the job done without direction. They were different in the best way. They went above and beyond to get more training and certification becoming the best on the scene.
The 1990’s would give way to many great opportunities for Fine Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Company 4 decided to set the bar high for other companies in the county as a membership that focused to have all active members certified in Firefighter 1 and 2 (FF1, FF2), Hazmat Ops, and CPR. They upgraded their salvage and overhaul unit with a larger unit for power providing interior and exterior lighting during overhaul operations. They changed their focus with their new tanker offering the first tanker in the county to have a custom cab option. This provided seating for a total of five members, three of which would have air pack seats. They also have the county’s only hazmat trailer available for hazmat response.
They became the first fire company to begin the first responder program in the county aiding the Powhatan Volunteer Rescue Squad. They started running high priority ems calls in their district. They sent a large majority of their members to become certified as Emergency Medical Technicians. This was a first in the County. The other fire companies would soon follow suit in the first responder program.
The 2000’s would bring way to newer challenges in the district and the county. The County was growing, and the call volume was increasing every year. The company added a small gator to its response fleet assisting with brush fires in the county. The unit had the ability to gain access to fields and in the woods where other units could not. In the early to mid-2000’s Company 4 became the first fire company to effectively deliver a duty crew system that would staff the station Sunday through Thursday every week from 6pm-6am.
The biggest change would be between 2005 and 2015 and it would bring an entire new generation of members to Fine Creek VFD. This change would provide our department with the largest influx of new volunteers we have ever experienced. There was a span of time that we had over thirty active members under the age of 30. This time frame has produced members that currently fill our department leadership and officer positions.
Changes happen. The current call volume has impacted our company in a way that our volunteers could not keep up with. Our company is currently staffed with one-person 24/7 that staffs our EMS first responder unit and has the cross-staffing ability to be a driver for our first out engine if needed.
Our company has a strong history, a pride in our heritage. A heritage that is focused on being different and getting things done our way. The Black Sheep Way. We enjoy setting the bar for others and being the trend setter. A heritage that helps prepare young firefighters and EMT’s how to be prepared for a full-time career in public safety or excel in whatever path they take.