San Francisco, seen from north Skyline Blvd - Courtesy of Lieven Leroy
Inside the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade - February 2015
By Steve Johnson
I am a retired Kings Mountain Volunteer firefighter. I’m writing a series of articles to de-mystify what the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and Fire Department are, and what they do for the community. Over the next several months I’ll talk about the history, organization and duties of the Fire Brigade and Fire Department, other (County and State) emergency response agencies and how they all fit together. I’ll also talk about common misconceptions about the fire department. I’ll also include a safety tip in each article.
This month’s article is about the Fire Brigade.
Fire Brigade Overview
The Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade was founded in 1962. The purpose of the Brigade was to provide local emergency response since County fire stations were many miles away. The Fire Brigade is a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Corporation, which means all contributions are tax-deductible. It owns and maintains the community center/fire station and five surrounding acres. The community center is available for use by any Brigade member and is used frequently for meetings, classes and other events. The Brigade also owns two fire engines, one rescue truck and a utility vehicle used for emergency response. The Fire Department is a sub-organization of the Fire Brigade.
The Fire Brigade has a board with seven directors elected by Fire Brigade members. Any individual or family who pays annual dues is considered a member of the Brigade. Directors serve for three year terms, and can be re-elected for one additional term. Officers consist of a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. The Fire Brigade is funded primarily from proceeds from the annual Kings Mountain Art Fair. Additional funding comes from dues and community donations.
One important aspect of the Fire Brigade is that our deed requires us to maintain an active volunteer fire department. If the volunteer fire department goes away, the land will revert to the previous owners or their successors, currently the Federal Government/Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Next Month: Inside the Fire Department
Safety Tip for February:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. Common sources are improperly-vented furnaces and fireplaces. Every home should have a working CO detector on every floor of the house. If the CO alarm goes off, IMMEDIATELY get everyone (including pets) out of the house and call 911. The Fire Department has gas detectors and other safety equipment to evaluate the threat and ventilate the house. We would rather go out on a false alarm than have to deal with even one fatality.
Please direct any questions or comments to me at sfjohns[at]pacbell[dot]net