Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department officially opens Friday
There was a dedication ceremony for the Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department Friday on N.C. 55 for the new building. Jeremy Price, holding scissors, is the Seven Springs VFD Fire Chief and said the new location will assist Wayne and Lenoir Counties even more in terms of response time. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
SEVEN SPRINGS — The Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department officially has a new home.
Friday marked the dedication ceremony for the new establishment, located on N.C. 55, across the street form Maynard’s Night Club, a place where the department operated after its initial location — found on Main Street — was flooded from Hurricane Florence.
“Members took time away from their families to help those in need,” Seven Springs VFD Fire Chief Jeremy Price said. “We stayed at a staging area 24 hours a day, 10 days straight, directly across the road in the Maynard’s parking lot. I actually slept in my truck for 10 days…we roughed it, but we were extremely busy with wrecks, evacuation and border rescues. Although our old station didn’t have living quarters, it felt like you were being kicked out of home.
“One day, as I was pulling out of staging, I looked at the empty field in front of me and dreamed of having a station there. Looking back, I would’ve never imagined my dreams becoming a reality. Today, I stand with the same pride the founding members over 60 years ago. This department and community has something to be proud of, and for our members of this department, always keep the pride we have today to serve our community with proficiency.”
The Fire Department was chartered in Seven Springs in 1958, serving Wayne and Lenoir County. The process took approximately $2 million, with the Golden Leaf Foundation providing $1,841,539.49 — a giant check was on display during the dedication ceremony. Price said membership is at its highest with 33 volunteer firemen and the new location should help the residents immensely.
“I hope that this station would want to get some more people involved and help serve the community,” Price said. “Being on Hwy 55 will have a quicker response time — before, we had to pull out of the station (and) go up the hill and wait for traffic.”
The station has helped inject life into Seven Springs, something Kevin Grady — a four-year volunteer fireman with the department — is glad to see come back.
“It was sad to see the town go down,” Grady said. “For years, the station stood strong, but with the flooding it turned the area into a bit of a ghost town. I’m very happy to see this building up now.”
More than 100 showed up for the event, including esteemed members of the local and state government such as N.C. Senator Jim Perry, Representatives John Bell and Chris Humphrey, Lenoir County Chairman Linda Rouse Sutton, Commissioner J. Mac Daughety and County Manager Michael James.
“It’s a wonderful and amazing sight for the community of Seven Springs,” James said. “As a neighboring jurisdiction, we wanted to come out and show our support.”
Humphrey shared similar sentiments.
“I grew up right down the highway and went to school with a lot of the guys who work here,” Humphrey said. “It’s a great day for the community — for a lot of small towns the fire departments are centerpieces and to have this for Seven Springs is wonderful.”