Our History

In the spring of 1976 someone saw the need to establish a Fire Department in the Fleetwood Community due to the long response time of the nearest department, and the rapid growth of the Community. This idea may have sprang up in a local store over general conversation.

By May of that year planning meetings for the organization of the department were being held. The first official meeting was on May 28 1976. Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Department became a reality on June 10, 1976 when it was incorporated as Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Department. The original officers were: Harold Jordan (Chief) David King (Secretary) Gary Mahaffey (treasurer). Original Board of Directors: James Nelson, James Jordan, Charles Edwards, Harold Jordan and Richard Lemly. The first ladies auxiliary was soon to follow on June 22. Their original officers were: Rita Green (President) Peggy Jordan (Vice President) Anita Elliott (Secretary) Peggy Tuttle (Treasurer) Jessie Church (Chaplain).

In September 1976, operations began out of the Fleetwood Falls building on 221 South. The County allocated ten thousand dollars toward start up of the department, an additional ten thousand dollars was raised in the community to purchase the first vehicle and equipment, which was a 1961 Ford American Lafrance Pumper Equipped for $21,828 (unit 76) in October 1976. Another truck and supplies were purchased in November 1976 to build a Tanker Truck (unit 77).

The previous property was purchased from the School Board by the department in August of 1978. Plans were made shortly there after to build a three bay building to house the department. Fundraising began to start construction of the new building. Money was raised through barbecues, yard sales, bake sales, etc. Fire Department members and local citizens that it was to serve.

In the next several years to follow two additional trucks were purchased, one four wheel drive Mini Pumper Brush Truck (unit 78), and a cab over Pumper Tanker (unit 79). In May 1988, the department formeda its first First Responder group, this was intended to get Medical Aid on the scene of an emergency within the first few minutes after the emergency occurred.

With a crowded building and a possible expansion, the building was added onto to over double its size. In June 1992, the department was rechartered as Fleetwood Volunteer Fire and Rescue Inc. The Department would now become a fully operational Rescue Squad as well as a Fire Department. In October 1992, a second four wheel drive Mini Pumper (unit 73) was purchased to be used for a rescue vehicle as well as for fire suppression of vehicle fires and flammable liquids, it would also be used in response to other hazardous materials incidents. In 1993, a sixth vehicle was purchased for a rehabilitation vehicle (unit 74). It is also used to carry additional equipment and has a cascade system mounted inside to refill air bottles for self contained breathing apparatus on the scene.

In may 1996, the department was approved by the North Carolina office of Emergency Medical Services and the North Carolina Board Of Medical Examiners to become a non-transporting Emergency Medical Services Provider and expand the First Responder program to the EMT-D level of care. This program wil Responder level which basically consist of patient survey and vital signs to advanced life support at the EMT-D level which will allow the use of advanced go beyond the First airway management and early defibrillation in the sudden onset of cardiac arrest.

Pictured here is the first fire chief, Harold Jordan who served the department as chief for 24 years

Throughout the early 2000's the Fleetwood Vol Fire & Rescue continued to provide quality service to it's citizens and continued looking for ways to improve the service provided based on changes noticed within the community. Beginning in 2014/2015 a major change would take place that would effect the entire county. US HWY 221 which goes through the center of the Fleetwood Fire District would be widened into a four-lane highway. This improvement would create a much safer roadway for motorists traveling to or from the Boone or Wilkesboro areas compared to the existing two-lane roadway which saw numerous tragic accidents throughout the years. Although a much needed change, the roadway would need to run directly through the Fleetwood Fire Station which was located at 9005 US Hwy 221S. After many years of strategic planning and negotiations, the Board of Directors of the Fleetwood Vol Fire & Rescue made the decision to purchase the old Fleetwood Elementary School property from the Ashe County Board of Education to build a new fire station. Working in conjuction with NCDOT and the appointed road contractor, the old Fleetwood School was removed and the property would then be filled with excess dirt from the road widening project to make the property more accessible to US 221 by fire apparatus. A building committee was appointed by the membership of the department to oversee the construction of the new fire station. The Fleetwood Vol Fire & Rescue board of directors was able to choose a local contractor through a bid process to be in charge of constructing the new fire station. Throughout the next 12-18 months a new, 14,000 square foot, fire station was erected and plans to move in began in early 2020.

Presently, the Fleetwood Vol Fire & Rescue maintains an average of 30 volunteer members on the roster made up of men and women with various backgrounds including retired military veterans. These men and women hold and maintain various state level certifications including Firefighter, Techincal Rescuer, Medical Responder, EMT, & Paramedic. In addition to providing fire service to the citizens of the Fleetwood Community, the Fleetwood Vol Fire & Rescue also continues to hold a NC EMS provider license as well as a NC Light Rescue provider license which was a major stepping stone and goal of our founding members of the organization. We are constantly adapting to the changes within our community so that we may continue to provide quality service to the residents of the Fleetwood community and others within Ashe County. None of this would be possible without the loyal support from our community and the willingness to serve from our volunteers which has been going strong since our founding in 1976.