HISTORY of the GUILFORD COUNTY FIRE PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
Early in the spring of 1953, the seed was sown for the organization of the GUILFORD COUNTY FIRE PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION under the guidance of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. Notices were sent to the municipalities, to the existing volunteer fire departments and to other leading citizens of communities in which there was interest shown in organizing fire companies. The meeting was successful and the Guilford County Fire Protective Association was born.
As early as 1939, fire protection for rural areas was a growing problem for the municipalities. Sending equipment to fight fires of non-tax paying people outside their limits of taxable property was prohibited. The General Assembly, in 1939, passed laws enabling counties to contract with municipalities to give fire protection. A number of counties immediately made contracts, some just to protect school buildings.
In 1941, the Guilford Representatives to the State Legislature saw conflicts in the prevailing laws and proceeded to pass additional laws for Guilford County to make them more adaptable for the existing needs of the community. First was the need for sanitary districts which served as a three-fold purpose (Water, Sewer and Fire Protection). Second was to set up a fire district for fire protection only (by taxation).
In a later General Assembly, a bill was passed authorizing the county to loan $5,000.00 to an organized fire department for three years, interest free. This money was to be used for firefighting equipment.
After this act of the General Assembly, seven departments accepted the challenge and received monies from the county: Oak Grove, Guilford, Rankin, McLeansville, Summerfield, Pinecroft-Sedgefield and Stokesdale. There was a special law passed whereby a department could cross county lines in special tax districts. This allowed departments such as Guil-Rand to operate.
With this background, the need for a County-wide association was evident.
In the beginning of the organization, it was decided to have monthly meetings at the Guilford County Courthouse. A Committee developed a constitution and bylaws, to which there have been very few amendments since the beginning of the organization.
During the early years of the association, much of what is now reality was discussed and brought to the attention of the County Administration. These included:
1. County-wide fire training
2. Organized Mutual Aid (including two municipalities when called)
3. County Fire Marshal's Office
4. County-wide fire dispatching
5. Assistance in setting up new fire districts
6. A program to get every department in the County to meet State insurance
requirements in order to get reduction in insurance rates for their patrons.
Fire and Rescue Council Officers
- President – Chief Steve Simmons
- Past Pres – Chief Todd Gauldin
- Vice Pres – Chief Chris Sizemore
- Sec – Chief Kevin Bowers
- Tres – Deputy Chief Randy Southard