Published 9:50 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It has been a busy year for the Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department. This year the department responded to 211 EMS calls, 42 motor vehicle accidents (4 entrapments), 27 brush/field fires, 20 public assists, 13 structure fires, 8 alarms, 4 powerline/tree down and 3 vehicle fires for a total of 328 calls.

The department currently has two new members in Firefighter I class and several in Fire Attack class. According to a release from the department, “we’ve made some changes over the last year, such as requiring drug tests with applications and currently doing random testing as well.”

In addition new officers were chosen including, Chief Kenny Tharpe, First Assistant Chief James Napier, Second Assistant Chief Derrick Thompson, Captain Jason Hudson, Captain Ross Russell Lieutenant Tommy Toombs, Lieutenant Matthew Lamotte, Sergeant/Training Officer Thomas Rothwell, Sergeant James Gordon, EMS Captain Aileen Cassada, Safety Officer Ronnie Card and Chaplin Justin Hicks.

Board of Directors include President Charlie Hancock, Secretary/Treasurer Derrick Thompson and Board Officers Wade Setzer, Ronnie Card, Clarence Hamlett, Jayson Dix and Thomas Rothwell.

“We started welcoming the general public to our meetings to make us and our operations more transparent. We also have a new Auxiliary Membership formed to help us. Our immediate future plan as everyone knows is to build a new station because it is becoming structurally unsafe,” said the department.

The department hopes to include the town/municipal and office space for the Town of Drakes Branch new police sergeant. “We want this building to serve as a community building. After all it is ‘your’ building. It is and will be a big task to get this done but as always with your continued support, we can do it,” said the department.

The department would like to thank everyone for their support during 2017 and wished everyone a happy and safe 2018.