Station 9 - Kempsville

Station 9

The Kempsville Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1951 by the Station 9 engineMennonites that resided in Princess Anne County, later known as the Kempsville Borough, and their first meeting was held inside Yoder Dairies. The original station was located at the corner of Kempsville Road and Princess Anne Road.  The station housed two engines, one medium squad truck, two ambulances, and one rescue boat.  Engine 950 was a Ford C-950 cab with a 1000 GPM pump.  In 1969, a Young Crusader 5-speed manual transmission with a 1000 GPM pump was purchased and placed in service as Engine 906.  There were only ten Young Crusaders built and they were best known for their all-chrome Stang Gun.

The Kempsville Volunteer Fire Department was one of the busiest engine companies, even when it was fully staffed Station 9 circa 1951as a Volunteer station. Their first due run area started at the railroad tracks on South Witchduck Road to the Chesapeake line on Kempsville Road, Military Highway from the Twin Bridges to the Chesapeake line, Centerville Turnpike from Indian River Road to the Chesapeake line, Salem Road to Elbow Road, and the Five-Mile Stretch (Princess Anne Road) to South Independence Boulevard.  

In 1972, the first group of career firefighters hired spent two weeks at Company 11 and then got assigned to other stations within the City.  Station 9 was staffed with two career firefighters per shift:  Firefighters Scoop Washburn and Earl Stanton were assigned to A-Shift; Firefighters Mike Wade and Billy Fulghum were assigned to B-Shift; and Firefighters Gerald Freeman and Mike Blount were assigned to C-Shift. One of the firefighters assigned to each shift was designated as the Shift Leader, since the department, at that time, had not yet established Company Officers.  Shifts were from 1800-1800 with one day on and two days off.                  

As the City became more populated, the Fire Department began to hire additional firefighters to assist with the needed services.  In 1974 Firefighters Paul Beiler, Larry McInnis, and Gary Painter were assigned to A-Shift; Firefighters Keith White, Earl Stanton, and J. D. Hicks were assigned to B-Shift; and Firefighters Billy Fulghum, Mike Blount, and David Zook were assigned to C-Shift.                

In 1975 Station 10 opened on Providence Road, which helped to reduce the high run volume of Station 9.  Station 9 still remained a very busy company and Engine 901 assisted Station 2 (Davis Corner), Station 7 (Thalia), and Station Station 9 Banner16 (Plaza).  
As the Kempsville Borough grew in population and service runs, it became evident that the current station needed to be replaced to provide for additional equipment and personnel. In January 1982, the new Station 9 was moved behind the old station to 5145 Ruritan Court.  At that time, Engine 901 became the first 5-man Engine Company and the Duty District Chief and the Kempsville Rescue Squad were housed at Station 9. 

In 1981 a new Seagrave Engine was purchased and placed in-service and the Young Crusader was placed in reserve status. In 1984, the City purchased 12 E-One pumpers.  One was placed in-service as Engine 9 and the Seagrave was moved to Station 1 as Engine 1. 

Station 9 was also designated as the turnout gear repair station and would also construct all high-rise bags, straps, and debris bags.  Keith White, the B-Shift Captain, ran the sewing room. 

Ladder 9 circa 1975In 1985 Station 9 would see the addition of a Ladder Company, which had a 1975 Baker Aerial Scope 75’ bucket, the work horse of the fire service. Ladder 1006 was moved to Station 9 from Station 10 and was changed to Ladder 9 and was staffed with three additional firefighters.  The ladders had one Master Firefighter, who was supervised by the station officer, who was assigned to the Engine.  Prior to 1985 ladders did not respond to residential fires.  They only responded to commercial, multi-family, high-rise, and schools.  This was the beginning of true ladder companies performing truck company work. Engine and Ladder 9 were designated as the fire factory because of its large run area and the number of working fires.  As of today, Ladder 9 still remains the busiest ladder.

Station 9 operates with six Firefighters and two Captains in Battalion 2. Engine 9 is a 2010 1500 GPM Pierce Quantum; Ladder 9 is a 2005 105’ Pierce Dash Quint Aerial.  In 2010 Engine 9 responded to 2,834 calls and Ladder 9 responded to 1,645 calls for service. Other apparatus previously assigned to Station 9 included a 1980 Seagrave 100’ Rear Mount Aerial and a 1991 LTI Rear Mount Quint.

As time changes, so does our City infrastructure. One-third of the City’s population now resides in the Kempsville Borough.  To accommodate the growth and increased traffic, the intersection of Kempsville Road and Witchduck Road is being moved 600 feet south of its current location.  Over the course of the next ten years, the City’s Department of Planning is designing a village concept for the Kempsville area.  The area is currently undergoing major renovations and the station will then be located in the hub of Kempsville Village.