Donald Gaddy, the Chief at the Mineral Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, has been with the department since it was founded 56 years ago and has been Chief for the past 31 years. In the beginning, the community decided that they needed better fire protection, so several of the local area men got together and formed a fire department. Now the Mineral Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department has 59 volunteers and part time staff, two stations, and ten response vehicles. The main station is at the corner of Waxhaw Highway and Potter Road and the substation is off of Rocky River Road by the Stonebridge Golf Course. Both stations have an engine, a tanker, a brush truck, a squad vehicle and the department also has a pickup truck and a Polaris ATV.
Gaddy explains that the majority of the calls that they respond to include all medical calls, all wrecks, structure fires, fire alarms, gas leaks, and any other calls for help. Sometimes, the assistance is needed by animals instead of people. For example, they recently responded to a call to help rescue a horse that had become stuck in the mud. After digging the horse out by hand, the horse was able to walk back to the barn by itself. The department will also help install fire alarms in residences for the elderly or those who can’t afford to buy them.
The Department is currently raising funds to purchase a new brush truck through a Photo fundraiser. A representative of the station is going door to door asking for donations in exchange for photos. They will have a photo ID stating who they are and that they are affiliated with the Department. The brush truck is a surplus military vehicle that is converted to contain a pump and a tank and is capable of going to more remote locations to battle fires. They have also purchased a new custom cab engine that should be delivered in the beginning of 2019.
While the department currently has 35 volunteers and 29 part time fire fighters, they are always looking for more people to join the department. Gaddy says, “It usually takes about 2 years to become a volunteer firefighter. South Piedmont Community College provides training and there is no cost to the volunteer.” After 248 hours, the volunteer will then be able to work with the department and could even go on, with additional training, to become an EMT.
Mineral Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department – 704-843-3189. For an emergency, please dial 911