Prospect VFD Celebrates 50 Years

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There was standing room only in the Prospect firehouse on Sunday, October 17, as the community came out to celebrate the Prospect Volunteer Fire Departments 50th anniversary. People lined the streets of the village of Prospect to watch the first parade ever held there. With sirens wailing, the eight fire vehicles circled the village, beginning in the High Bridge Trail parking lot and meandering along Railroad Avenue, Prince Edward Highway, Catalpa Lane, and Prospect Road. The trucks then were lined up at the firehouse and opened for tours. Featured in the parade were floats carrying firefighters who had given 20 or more years of service to the department and some of the children of the firemen.

The Prospect department and auxiliary provided a spread of delicious appetizers, anniversary cakes, and drinks. Many people browsed through the newspaper clippings and scrapbooks that were on display.

Daren the Lion, of the D.A.R.E. program, and Smokey the Bear, from the forestry department, circulated through the crowd shaking hands and talking with the children. After their visit, the children were treated to a hay ride around the neighboring farms.

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John Fulcher, with 43 years of service on the department, pulled the winning ticket for the 50/50 raffle. Winner Lois Johnson donated her prize money back to the department.

Ralph Townsend, one the four founding 24 charter members still living, of the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department was in attendance at the celebration. The department had its beginnings in 1959 and was formally incorporated on November 7, 1960. Their first truck was a 1950 pumper, which was housed in Scottie Booker's shop at his home, next to St. James AME Church, until the first firehouse was built around 1963.

The department had originally planned the firehouse location to be behind Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church, but deciding that that location was not large enough, they bought two lots from Walter Southall at the present location of 45 Campbell Hill Road. Volunteer work and donations made that small structure possible. In 1972 the kitchen addition was added to the original firehouse.

In its early days, the Prospect department would raise funds through red tag sales, hamburger suppers, and chicken cookings. The first Harvest Sale was in October of 1960 and was held at Nordstrom's Service Station.

The department now has 36 active members and insures eight trucks and one van for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. New members are required to have training in Firefighter I, emergency vehicle operation, CPR, hazmat, and first aid. All members have to stay up to date with the latest innovations in equipment and procedures.

The auxiliary, consisting of 16 charter members, was formed in 1996 as the ladies auxiliary but the word “ladies” was soon dropped. Their purpose is to serve the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department at fires, fund raising, conventions, and to render any assistance at all times.

They raise funds by hosting the February Pancake Supper, the April Spaghetti Supper, and several other dinners throughout the year. In addition they sell concessions at various activities in the surrounding communities. They currently sponsor a Spring and Fall Children's Consignment Sale.

One of the first projects the auxiliary undertook was to remodel the firehouse kitchen. The auxiliary has purchased equipment for the fire department, for example the brush truck bought in 2006. They also provide drinks and refreshments on calls.