History of the Roseboro Fire Department
The Roseboro Fire Department was formed on February 4, 1936. The Town of Roseboro funded this first department which was composed of the following members: W. L. West, Chief; Henry Crumpler, Assistant Chief; and members Houston Hayes, Freddie Poe, Arnold Herring, Cecil Hobbs, Bud Herring, Tommy Williams, Abb Harris, Ray Collins, James W. White, Eddie Cannady, Alton Horne, and James Patterson.
This small, but dedicated, departments first home was located in the building that was later known as Tom’s Saw Shop on Main St. Later it was housed in a shelter located between what once was the Cable Vision office and Butler’s warehouse on Railroad St. During the first few years of service, the fire department operated with one 1933 homemade Chevrolet truck. This truck was made from the remains of a burned 1933 car which was taken to Roseboro Milling Company where the back was removed and replaced with wood. A homemade siren was made to because on this truck. This first piece of equipment could not do what trucks today can do; but, it was very used in carrying equipment. One such piece of equipment was a 5 gallon backpack water pumper. These pumpers were worn at woods fires to keep the fire away from houses and /or businesses. Also, flappers and rakes were used when firefighters back fired an area to stop a woods fire. These are some of the methods used until the forestry service arrived. Later, in 1940, the department was able to purchase a 1941 Ford 500 gallon pumper truck.
Several men have served as Chief of the fire department, including W. L. West (grandfather of retired member Thomas L. West), followed by Arnold Herring (brother of another Fire Chief Billy Herring), George Pope, Keith Owen, Billy Herring, Bobby Owen, and now most recent Lee Coleman.
In 1948, it was decided that the time had come to make plans for the construction of a building which would adequately house the fire department. Through fund raisers and private donations, construction did begin that year at a site located at the corner of Park Drive and Pleasant Street. Upon completion, in 1950, the department moved into their new home with one truck, although it would shelter two. Then in 1961, another truck was purchased. This truck was a 1961 Ford 750 gallon pumper. There would be no more room to add large pieces of equipment.
As years passed, the need for additional equipment became apparent. With this in mind, on November 3, 1975, the fire department incorporated for the
purpose of obtaining a loan to remodel the old structure and build an additional structure that would be used strictly to house needed equipment. The directors of the new corporation would be Hubert Gilbert, George Pope, William H. Herring, Keith Owen, Robert Cain, Franklin Sandy, Ivey L. Hairr, and Joe Freeman.
Since then, the department has continued to grow to over 30 members, we currently have one Chief’s car, three pumpers, one tanker, one brush truck and a service truck.