Henleyfield VFD opens addition

Published 12:34 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A flag that once flew over the nation’s capital is now flying over Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department’s new addition.

On Saturday, the department held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony to commemorate the opening of the new 2,500 square-foot addition.

During the ceremony, a flag that flew over the nation’s capital on Sept. 11, 2007, was donated to the Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department by former-Sen. Trent Lott’s office.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The $334,000 addition was built onto the existing department using grant and fire department funds. A $234,000 USDA grant and the department’s $100,000 match funded construction. Living quarters for up to four men and a training room are part of the department with that addition. Fire Chief Scott Sullivan said the training room soon will hold classes that all county fire departments can attend. Some training includes the youth fire training program, which will accept young people ages 15-18.

“The youth that we have here will be the future of this department,” Sullivan said.

Other training could include CPR and extrication practices. Sullivan said the addition also can be used as an Emergency Operations Center or as a back up dispatch center for all county fire services in case another emergency like Hurricane Katrina arises.

Any Henleyfield volunteer fire fighter who wants to can stay at the department, which will improve response time to fires and other emergencies, Sullivan said.

Henleyfield Volunteer Firefighter Daryl Smith said the department started out with six men and a borrowed fire truck in 1978. With the new addition and the plethora of new equipment, Smith said the department is now sitting on about $1 million. Sullivan said there are now about 29 members in the department.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, a second ceremony took place. The training room was dedicated In that second ceremony by Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department board president Fred Jarrell to former Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Fighter Glen Alford. A plaque was presented to the late Alford’s widow.

Sullivan said he appreciates the numerous avenues of support he and the department has received over the years, such as former Pearl River County Emergency Management Director Bobby Strahan, Lott, Sen. Thad Cochran and Congressman Gene Taylor, former supervisor Danny Wise and current supervisor Charles Culpepper. Sullivan also said he appreciates community members for their support.

Sullivan said the department plans to resume its twice-a-year fish fries, which have been neglected the past couple of years. The next one is scheduled for April 11, from 11 a.m. until the supplies run out.