Atwell Township Volunteer Fire Department is located on the south west corner of Rowan County in North Carolina. Our Station sits beside Concordia Lutheran Church, at the corner of West NC 152 Hwy and Concordia Church Road. Our District includes a 5 mile radius of our Department. We border both Iredell & Cabarrus Counties, as well as the Towns of China Grove & Landis.
Since 1956 Atwell Fire Department has been protecting the lives & Property of the citizens of the Atwell Township District by Volunteers in the community. Originally our membership was primarily comprised of Farmers and small shop owners who could drop what they were doing and quickly answer the call. Since then the demographics have changed. Now our membership is mostly shift workers and help is limited during the first shift hours. For that reason we have employed 2 full time Fire Fighters from 7:00am until 5:00pm Monday thru Friday. Since 2003 these two men have been in place to make sure that the call is answered. Due to rising call volumes, an additional part time Fire Fighter was added to the staff in 2008.
While our Paid Staff is a large part of our coverage during weekdays, we still rely on Volunteers during evenings, nights, and weekends. As of 2010 we have 46 volunteers on our roster. These dedicated men & women train one to two nights a week to keep up to date on the current NFPA, OSHA, State & County requirements. These Volunteers provided the manpower to enable us to answer the 650 called we had during 2010.
With that said I cannot forget to mention the other people and organizations that support us during the year. For without these, at times we would be in trouble and the citizens of our district would feel that difference in increased fire insurance costs. I am talking about the Mutual Aid department that we currently have contracts with all around us. These departments respond with us to provide highly trained personnel, the latest equipment, and much needed water. While Rowan County as a whole in my opinion has the best rural Fire Department coverage in the state, I would like to thank a few that I depend on the most in this letter. My Department is Blessed to have, Enochville, West Rowan, Locke Township, China Grove, Landis, Kannapolis, South Iredell, & Rowan Rescue as mutual aid Departments. These departments played an important part in reducing our ISO Rating to a seven. This Rating has a huge affect on insurance premiums in our district. If you live in our district, I would suggest checking with your Insurance agent to be sure you are benefitting from this reduction.
You will never find a more dedicated group of people than Fire Fighters. My department is an example. Since 1978 I have been blessed with an extended family, Brothers and Sisters in the fire and rescue service. I cannot express how proud I am of all my department members. Their dedication to public service is second to none. You normally see Fireman running toward dangerous situations while everyone else is running away. Since the events of September 11, 2001 the tables have been turned a bit, so my suggestion to all that are reading this would be, if you see a Fireman running away from something, do your best to keep up with him.
Our department was founded by members of several churches in our district and faith has always been a part of our department, so at the risk of not being politically correct I will leave you with this statement. In God We Trust.
Tim Beaver, Chief of Atwell Township Fire Department