In April 1961, the Fire Department Town and College purchased a new 1961 Chevrolet American LaFrance Fire Truck. The Chassis was purchased through French Broad Chevrolet and delivered to American LaFrance in Elmira, NY. Mars Hill College agreed to help with the purchase if they could have a Co-Chief of the Fire Department. So, Carl Eller for Town and Jim Fish for the college were co-chiefs for a period of time.
Participation in the fire department had fallen off, with Carl Eller basically being the only one doing anything. Buddy Cox had taken a great interest in the fire department re-organizing. So together Buddy and Carl put the wheels in motion and the department was reorganized and Buddy became the Chief. The department has been very active ever since.
1972 Ford American LaFrance Truck purchased and is still in service today. Chief Briggs and members saw the need for a second truck. Boyce Ford in Asheville had the 1972 Truck which was a demo. They brought it to Mars Hill a couple times for the Fire Dept. and Town Board to look at, and the decision was made to buy the truck.The red light had to be removed to get the truck in the building.
New Station is built. Is currently the Main Station. Built in 1975, moved in 1976. Once again Mars Hill College helped make this possible. Mr. Bryson Tilson negotiated and made it possible for the college to donate property for the building to the town.
Build first Tanker. Bought a 2 Ton GMC Farm Truck from Larry Cody and Bruce Buckner gave an old tank body off a 1950 Chevrolet truck he had bought from Old Fort. The members combined the chassis and tank making our first tanker.
Purchased a 1984 Brigadier and contracted with a company in Raleigh to build our first Pumper Tanker. They went bankrupt and we had to re-negotiate with other companies and entered contract with Slagle’s Fire Equipment to build the truck. Delivery was made in 1985.
Paying for the operation of the fire department became more than the town, fundraisers and donations were able to provide. The Town was forced to tell the surrounding communities that they would have to help pay for the costs or the town would be forced to stop serving areas outside the town limits. 1988-1989
On May 3, 1990, a Fire Tax Referendum was held and approved for those areas served by Mars Hill outside the town limits.
Mars Hill Township – For - 337 Against – 44 Beech Glen Township - For – 367 Against – 61 Petersburg Township -For- 147 Against – 68 TotalFor – 860 Against – 173 A tax rate of $.05 per $100 valuation was established and remains same now.
Bought a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice which was a used Highway Patrol Vehicle to be shared between the Town and Fire Department for going to meetings, trainings, etc.
Purchased 1992 KME Pumper Tanker from Slagle’s Fire Equipment. This was a demo truck and was purchased on an emergency basis to replace the 1961 American LaFrance when the pump failed. Cost $180,000
Purchased old box type ambulance from Mission Hospital which was used for a rescue truck which remained in service until late 90s when it was replaced by a truck bought from Weaverville Fire Department.
Purchased a used 2 ton GMC Rescue Truck from Weaverville Fire Department which was sold to Marshall Fire Department in 2003.
Bought used Pepsi Truck. It is used as a service truck which has extra equipment, traffic control devices, heavy cribbing, spill control materials, etc.
Designed and bought a new pumper tanker from Slagle’s Fire Equipment. This truck is also used on extrication calls. Truck has foam system which cuts water requirements by using 3x less water Cost $240,000
Received a portable slide in unit with foam and 400 gallon water free through the NC Air-guard and Asheville FD. Bought a used 1994 Ford 1-Ton 4x4 and put unit on it for our second brush truck Cost $15,000
Received a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe from the Madison County Sheriffs Department at no cost. This vehicle was originally a drug confiscation vehicle which was used to transport drug dogs for several years until it was passed on to the department.
Bought a 1994 KME 75’ Firestick Ladder Truck from Brumley Mountain Fire Equipment through Asheville Fire Department for $17,000 After the truck was equipped and repairs made the department will have $45-50,000 in the truck.
Bell on pole behind Town Hall Siren on Town Hall then on Pole at New Building Phone System 1987 – Dispatch from Sheriff’s Department 1995- 911
1973: 11 calls We now answer each year on average 560-700 calls service per year
N.S. Whitaker – First Chief, Nov. 9 1909 Roy Tillery L.C. Lambert Carl Eller Jim Fish Jimmy Holcombe David Pate Buddy Cox 1970-1971 Phil Briggs 1971-1982 Gordon Randolph 1982-1985 Eddie Fox 1985-1989 Gordon Randolph 1989-1992 Eddie Fox 1992 –
NS Whitaker, First Fire Chief Roy Tillery Carl Eller Jim Fish W.B. Zink, Sr. B.W. Grigg Sam Randolph Albert Ponder Harvey Ponder Bryson Tilson David Pate Jimmy Holcombe Paul Tugman Leonard Briggs Ralph Briggs Johnny Anderson Jake Grigg Fanklin Anderson Donald Cox, Sr. Jack Ramsey Larry Moore Grady Worley David Metcalf Joe Mack Burnette Owen Tilson Bruce Murray Hal Carter Rev. Charles Davis Bill Bennett Bill Silvers Richard Anderson Forest Ponder, Sr. Luther Wells Ralph Chandler James Holcombe Donald Higgins Jack Carter Garner Hutchins Dell Woody Tilson Fleetwood Hershel Holcombe Floyd Holcombe Edward Smith L.C. Lambertt
Dennis McCurry 71-80 Ken Hembree 71-75 Wayne Proffitt 71-80 Finley Johnson 1971 Bob Hernandez 71-82 Greg Briggs 71-72 Johnny Griffin 71-73 Buddy Cox 70-72 Harold Taylor 1972 Randy Proffitt 72-73 Byron Chandler 72-73 Allen Arrington 71-73 Dan Vines 1972 Jim Arrington 72-75 Robert Briggs 73-75 Lane Merrill 73-80 Skip Easterling 73-77 Paul Yocum 73-76 Larry Edmonds 71-75 Dean Norton 1973 Steve Garvin 1973 Dale Hylemon 74-78 Ken Chancey 74-75 Danny Slagle 74-75 Randy Houston 74-75 Raymond Huffman 1975 Mike Burchette 75-76 Jeff Ling 1975 Jay Edwards 75-78 Terry Arrington 75-80 Rick Small 76-79 George Kevill 76-78 John Swagger 76-77 Tim Elkins 77-78 David Buckner 78-82 Mike Evans 78-80 Alex Johnson 78-80 Greg Brown 78-82 Scott Wilkinson 77-78 Allen Powell 89-82 Dana Snyder 1980 Bill Leatherwood 80-84 Jimmy Huffman 80-83 Richard Tilson 1982 Mark Griffin 81-82 Phillip Silvers 1983 Wayne Hendrick 83-85 Phillip Garrison 83-84 Anthony Beasley 83-84 Sandy Carson 1984 Jeff Cook 1984 Billy Rice 1985 Randy Allen 93-94
Ricky Allen 93-94 Patrick Allen 05-06 Bruce Anderson 88092 Vonna Anglin III 1989 Ricy Arrington 89-95 Rodney Arrowood 85-86 Mark Ball 80-04 Will Ball 90-90 Janet Baxter 92-00 Regina Bishop 2001 Bobby Scott Blackwell 90-94 Bobby Blackwell 89-91 J.C. Brazil, Jr. 90-93 Phill Briggs 70-08 Jimmy Briggs 89-96 Grayson Briggs 1989 Scott Briggs 90-=96 Herbert Buckner 70-90 Larry Burda 2001 Levi Carter 03-06 Nick Chandler 2005 Brian Chandler 1989 Jeff Clark 85-87 Roger Clark 1988 Steven Clark 86-87 Boyd Coates 1988 Floyd Coates 86-99 Allen Coates 82-84 Shane Coates 1991 Steward Coates 83-03 Michael Cody 89-91 Robert Collins 2003 Ron Crouter 1987 John Coffey 1998 R.J. Cutshall 74-86 Andrew Davis 05-08 Mark Debruhl 83-90 Doug Deitz 1991 Tim Dillingham 97-99 Chris Dodd 93-99 Jim Dodd 93-94 Edgar Edwards 79-85 Mark Edwards 82-86 Graham Edwards 97-00 Randall Edwards 85-86 Stephen Edwards 1989 Tim English 1990 Dana Fox 82-91 Edwin Fox 86-90 Phillip Fox 83-99 Darrell Gardner 1988 John Gardner III 93-94 Michael Garrison 96-01 Bil Gresek 99-00
Anthony Griffin 00-06 David Grindstaff 91-95 Rev. Dean Grindstaff 91-95 Brian Hanrahan 2006 Buddy Harwood 93-94 Rick Haynes 85-86 Waynd Hendrick 1985 Jeremy HJensley 98-02 Wayne Hensley 01-08 Donald Higgins 90-90 Dewayne Hilemon 96-02 Deanna Holcombe 92-96 David Holcombe 86-90 Ron Hollifield 94-99 David Honey cutt 72-75 Michael Honey cutt 89-96 Nicky Honeycutt 1989 Desmond Jamerson 1989 Jany Johnson 2006 Mike Kroksh 90-93 Ivan Kush 92-94 Eric Larson 91-92 Johnothan Lupher 88-89 Rick Luther 81-86 Warren Maney 2006 Bill McMahan 1984 Nathan Messer 06-07 Kenneth Metcalf 1997 Robert Metcalf 96-08 Ray Moore 71-84 Jeff Morgan 1992 JC Moss 72-88 Jeff Noe 85-97 Bryan Norris 06-07 Howard Norton 86-90 Charles Payne 80-86 Kevin Peek 05-07 Larry D. Peek 88-90 Raleigh Peek 91-92 Tim Peek 90-03 Edwin Phillips 83-86 Lane Ponder 83-85 Daniel Porche 1999 Jonathan Poulin 08-09 Billy Poewll 70-90 Jeff Randolph 83-88 Ivan Randolph 71-86 Tim Ray 87-93 Josh Reese 83-98 Randy Reese 95-98 Wesley Rice 03-06 Kelsy Rice 05-08 Jeff Richardson 81-91 Stephen Ricker 1987
Mattew Roberts 2004 Billy Roberts 85-87 Randy Robinson 88-08 Josh Shelton 02-04 Donald Shepherd 85-86 Jason Shepherd 94-95 Richard Shepherd 2008 Jason Sigmon 2001 Richard Smith 1998 Kenneth Sprinkle 03-08 Michael Summerfield 2003 Jeremy Swann 89-90 Dewayne Tweed 1989 Mark Wallin 1993 Chris Ward 05-06 Patrick Ward 05-=06 Jonathan Ward 89-90 Chris Webb 95-96 Morris Wheeler 70-89 Bob Wilson 1988 Keith Wilde 87-96 Eugene Young 88-94
Asheley Davis 2009 Steven Davis 2000 Eddie Fox 1977 Jeremy Fox 1994 Bobby Gosnell 2008 Claude Griffin 1991 Matthew Griffin 1990 Dino Grindstaff 1991 Dana Holcombe 2009 Beverly Hopps 2009 Bryan Hopps 1995 Rev. Cecil Hopps 2003 Ray Kievet 1993 Jimmie Kirkland 1989 Tim Metcalf 1981 James Metscher 2008 Chris Parks 1999 Jason Pearman 1999 Gordon Randolph 1970 Charlie Stanton 1988 David Stanton 2008 Casey Tweed 2005 Nathan Waldrup 1994 Randy Williams 2001 Clayton Willis 1974 Bill Zink 1970
Mars Hill Fire Department looks forward to serving our community in the future!