Volunteer department looking for funds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2000

For those who live in rural areas, volunteer fire departments can make the difference between life and death in many circumstances.

Brushey-Mashy Creek Volunteer Fire Department is no different from any other. Each of the volunteers has a regular job he or she performs each day, having to make time that day to do everyday maintenance that needs to be done at the station.

Because of their volunteer status, most of the money used to run the station comes from donations from the community. About $2,000 comes from the state, with almost $500 given to them by the county.

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However, donations make up almost $4,000, enabling the station to keep the two trucks fueled and in good working order and pay bills and buy equipment.

Because of such a busy schedule with other jobs and high gas prices, the firemen and women of Brushey-Mashy Creek have not been able to go door-to-door asking for donations this year.

As a result, gifts to the fire station are not as frequent as it usually is this time each year, with only about nine different donations made so far.

Chief Randy Wood of the Brushey-Mashy Creek station said area churches have still been taking collections for them, but more is still needed to keep the station operational.

"It's hard to go door-to-door because of our daily jobs," Wood, who also works for the Greenville post office, said. "People in the community were not being as responsive to us visiting their houses, either."

Larry Creech, president of the Brushey-Mashy Creek Fire Department, said the department tries to do the best with what it receives.

"We don't do it for the glory. The only glory we get is to possibly help someone in trouble," Creech said. "The community just doesn't realize the hours of dedication and training that go into running a fire department. It's not just us who are dealing with this situation, but volunteer fire stations all over the county and state that do, too."

Aside from receiving money from the state, county and community, the station also holds fund raisers whenever possible, such as yard sales, turkey shoots and fish fries.

The Brushey-Mashy Creek Fire Department, operational for about 10 years, currently has 12 volunteers and goes on an average of 18 calls per year, covering a five-mile radius around the station. Most of the calls are brush fires, with a few being house or car fires.

They have two trucks in use, one a class-A pumper truck and the other a 2,000 gallon tanker, which can be equipped to fight house fires if necessary. However, each of these trucks is almost 40 years old, requiring a lot of maintenance to keep them running.

"We're only as good as what we can afford," Creech said. "It always seems to be the same people that give donations to help us out, and we appreciate their efforts. But, we need help from everyone we serve if we are to stay operational."

Anyone interested in making donations to the fire department may mail them to 5707 East Dogwood Trail, Greenville,

AL 36037-5603. Those who would like the donations to be picked up can contact Chief Randy Wood at 382-3025 or Assistant Chief Jerry Gipson at 376-5488.