Parsons Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. (PVFD) was formally established in 1932. Prior to PVFD’s inception, the City of Parsons orchestrated fire suppression, with the first fire apparatus (named Parsons Hose Co. No. 1) being a 1910 horse-drawn wagon which was housed at Minear’s Livery Stable on Walnut Street1.
Pictured above: Minear’s Livery Stable, Walnut Street, Parsons, WV. Photo featuring Parsons Hose Co. No. 1, the original fire apparatus, a 1910 horse-drawn wagon.
When PVFD was established, the firehouse was located on Main Street in the present-day Tucker County EMS building (directly across Main Street from the current fire house). PVFD provided ambulance transportation and fire suppression. One of the first fire engines owned by PVFD was a 1933 American LaFrance. In the 1930’s, PVFD had its own marching band comprised of its membership. PVFD firefighters marched in parades and performed during special events winning numerous awards2. In 1937, six PVFD firefighters participated in the Chicago Firefighters Tournament in Chicago, Illinois. In the late-1950’s, PVFD purchased a 1956 American LaFrance fire engine from Coalton Volunteer Fire Department3. The present-day firehouse was constructed in 1972 with 3 bays and 3 apparatus. Every weekend, residents from the Parsons area enjoyed roller-skating in the basement of the new firehouse.
1 The original 1910 wagon has been restored and is on display at the Tucker County Museum located in Parsons.
2 Original trophies and cups are on display in the main hall of PVFD’s facility.
3 The 1956 American LaFrance is still housed at Parsons Volunteer Fire Department.
Firefighters Tournament, Chicago, Illnois, September 5, 1937. Top Row, L to R: Kenny Stevens, Henry Clair, Bill Bennett. Bottom Row, L to R: Wilford Parsons, Earl Corcoran, & Darl Stalnaker.
In 1985, a historic flood affected Tucker County, washing away many residences and businesses in Parsons. During a rescue mission in the River Bend Estates area, PVFD lost an engine to the rapidly rising water; very fortunately, there were no injuries to any firefighters, and the civilian was rescued. After the flood, South Charleston Fire Department donated two fire engines to PVFD.
In 2006, PVFD expanded its facility by constructing a new 6-bay engine room. Presently, PVFD has a fleet of one engine/tanker, one engine/aerial, one tanker, one rescue truck, one brush truck, two support vehicles, three boats, and an ATV. PVFD has 35 active members, and the current Chief is Kevin White.