Firefighter’s Corner: Published in the PURCELLVILLE GAZETTE ⋅ November 6, 2015 Edition By Bill Eggleston
Every month I have the pleasure of interviewing one of our members for inclusion in this article and this month it was even more enjoyable. You will see from Robin Dryden’s picture that she is styling a pink Purcellville Volunteer Fire Company (Station 602) duty shirt in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You will also see that she is a female firefighter. How appropriate to point out that our company has eleven women who, in various capacities, volunteer their time and energy to the community.
Amazingly, this young woman has been a volunteer firefighter for 27 years, even longer than her husband Bob, who is the Fire Chief. She was first around fire trucks as a five year old when her father, who was a founding member of the Blue Ridge Volunteer Fire Station in Clarke County, parked fire trucks in the family driveway. She went on to fire school as a teenager and ran calls with her father and future husband. She has now achieved a skill ranking as a Technician, which allows her to drive and operate any piece of equipment we have in the inventory.
She said that she gets great enjoyment from learning about the mechanics of the trade. She especially likes the mental and physical challenges that come from fully understanding how to use complex equipment like the jaws-of-life, how to safely and efficiently operate pumps and fire trucks themselves, how fires work and most importantly how to stop them. Her objective is to be a reliable and trustworthy member of a fire crew, and does not want her gender to be a defining or limiting characteristic. She has accomplished all that. She is one of the best.
So, there you have it. A remarkable firefighter who happens to be female, a mother, a wife, and a past President, Vice President, and Treasurer of your local Volunteer Fire Company.
On another happy note, I am pleased to report that we have received our shipment of tree ornaments, and they are ready for sale. Many loyal supporters know that as a volunteer organization, we count on donations and fund raising to augment our operations. Our greatest single event is the annual tree sale, which begins the day after Thanksgiving at the station. At that same time we will offer the 2015 tree ornament, and for the first time, we have the previous four years of ornaments for sale too. Some people might have missed a year, and we were often asked if they could complete their collection. The answer is yes. All ornaments cost $20, and if you can’t wait until after Thanksgiving or if you want to be sure that we still have them, please send an email to Scott Purdue at SPurdue@Purcellvillefire.org. He is our go-to guy for all things ornamental. He can even mail it to you, for a small additional charge.
Continuing this trend of good news, some of our brain trust were recently up at the Pierce Manufacturing plant in Appleton, Wisconsin, conducting the final inspection of our new $1.2 million tower ladder. All is in order and the truck will arrive in Town during our annual Christmas tree sale, which runs from November 27 until the trees run out. It will be a few weeks before it goes into service, as all sorts of equipment needs to be installed and some training on truck operations must occur first. Come out to buy your tree and see the new piece.