Callao honors all of those who have answered the call
The history of the Callao Volunteer Fire Department is one of men and women who have been willing to give of themselves for their community. Chris Neale, Callao VFD’s President said Saturday night as the CVFD celebrated 65 years of service to its community.
“The Department has experienced numerous growing pains in the 65 years since 1948 when the Callao Fire Department was first organized,” Neale said. During the years, Callao has seen the department grow in membership from 19 members to 79 today. Of this, they have 50 members who are actively running calls. A volunteer fire department is a labor of love from those involved, and CVFD has remained a reality only because of the many dedicated hours of service these volunteers give.
The first written records of the CVFD, still available, are the December 10, 1948 minutes from the first meeting held in the first fire house. That building was built in association with the American Legion and shared with them until 1952. At the first meeting the treasurer reported that $21,230.73 had been spent on the firehouse to that time, and to finish the building, $2,000.00 would have to be borrowed from the bank.
Prior to building this structure, the Fire Department existed only as a loose- knit organization and the building was the catalyst which made the CVFD a going interest. Charter members were: W. Edward Ashburn, J.R. Gardy Jr., Nettie Pittman, J.C. Booth, E.S. Headley, Arthur Rice, Robert Burgess, L.S. Headley, J.A. Hess, S. Bernard Clark, M.A. Headley, B. Franklin Winstead, Hyatt Headley, C.W. Yeatman, Edwin J. Deitz, Milford L. Harrison, Randall Fulks and Thomas F. Neale.
As with any organization, new or old, finances were a concern of the CVFD. Over the years various methods of fundraising have been tried. One of the first fundraising events tried in 1949 was a carnival which was quite successful,