The Ashland Fire Company was officially established on January 29, 1890. It was on this date that a meeting was held at the Masonic Hall for the purpose of forming a fire company in the Town of Ashland. This meeting came after a group of civic minded citizens saw the need for such a fire company in the town and petitioned the Clerk of Hanover County for what laid the ground work for one of the oldest chartered volunteer fire companies in United States.
Over the years there have been many significant events that have shaped us into the organizations we are today. Here are some of those events:
-On April 11, 1900 the largest fire in the history of the town destroyed a number of buildings and residences, including the Town Hall, the town tool house, the engine house, and the jail. The fire company worked hard to save what they could with the help of citizens from the town and very brave bucket brigade of Randolph Macon students.
-On December 30, 1909 a meeting was held and a motion was raised and passed to purchase our first gasoline engine.
-On July 21, 1938 we received our second piece of motorized apparatus, a 1938 Chevrolet Booster.
-On October 24, 1964 the foundation was laid for a new firehouse that would bring the town it most modern building at that time. We moved into that building in 1967 and stayed there until 2009.
-In 1979, we received our new Mack fire engine. It had a 1000GPM pump and a 5-man cab. The unit was our first diesel powered apparatus and was one of the last ever built by the Mack fire apparatus manufacturing company.
-On April 15, 1980 we responded to the Ashland Roller Mill for what turned out to be one of the most difficult and involved incidents that we have ever encountered. This was the first incident in the history of Hanover County that all 11 companies were involved in.
-On February 25, 1982 we and two other companies responded to a HazMat incident in the Hanover Industrial Air Park. During the incident one man was killed and another became severely disabled after breathing what was later determined to be “pentaborane”, a chemical that was tested as a rocket fuel in the 1950s. Along with the two men above two EMS personnel were transported to the emergency room for exposure to the chemical. The emergency room itself was eventually shut down and quarantined after several doctors and nurses became ill after being exposed to the sick EMS personnel. The incident tool six long days to get under control and was covered by all of the major news outlets in the area and is credited with shaping the way fire departments around the world respond to HazMat incidents.
-In April of 1990 we received our first “enclosed” cab fire engine. It was a 1990 KME with a 1000GPM pumper with a six-man cab.
In 2009 Station 1 was relocated to our current location at 501 Archie Cannon Drive in Ashland. The new state-of-the-art station gives us more space, improved communications and updated equipment allowing us to serve the citizens of our community even more efficiently.