OREGON COUNTY -- The BB Road Volunteer Fire Department recently received a 2004 GMC pumper/tanker firetruck. The truck was purchased with a 90 percent-10 percent matching grant from the federal Homeland Security Department. Fire Chief Edgar Wilson wrote the grant.
"The new truck holds twice the water of our old truck. This is very important to our fire department because of the lack of fire hydrants in our rural area," Purcell said. He said the department's old truck, a 1971 Dodge, held only 1,000 gallons of water.
Wilson said the fire department also has a brush truck and a tanker, compliments of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
BB Road Fire Department serves a 5-mile circle with the fire department at the center. Wilson said this amounts to approximately 1,200 residents in the fire department's coverage area. Wilson, who has served as fire chief at BB Road for one and a half years, said the main water source for the fire department is the Eleven Point River and a few farm ponds in the area.
The fire chief said the fire department answered three structure fires last year, 10 grass fires, and one or two fires were no damage resulted.
Including the chief, there are 22 firefighters involved in the BB Road VFD. Wilson said they attend training once a month at the fire department and several times a year the University of Missouri sponsors some type of training at different fire department across the area.
The fire department is governed by a 12-member board. Dale Johnson serves as assistant fire chief. Officers include: Norman Huffstedler, president; Sterling Rogers, vice president; John Keck, secretary; Wendell Williams, treasurer; Don Huffstedler, chaplain; members a large include: Kenny Worthy, Earlene Williams, Laverne Cockman and Kim McCully.
Wilson said the fire department operates solely on donations, dues, grants and fund raisers. They have several fund raisers throughout the year including: an annual barbecue at the firehouse; selling fire works; bake sales; a hunter supper; a gun give-away; Mothers Day Basket give-away; and a yard sale.
The fire chief said the fire department is always looking for new members. He said it costs $35 for a family to join. They currently have 120 members. He said men and women in their coverage area are invited to join the fire department. They currently have three women firefighters, Jean Wilson, Paula Worthy and Audrey Purcell.
For more information regarding joining the BB Road VFD call Fire Chief Wilson at 417-778-7072.