Walkersville VFD Celebrates 50th Anniversary - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Walkersville VFD Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Residents of the Walkersville area gathered at the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday. The department held a cookout for the public to come and see all they have to offer. And since the department was founded 50 years ago, Chief Steve Mealey said much of that has changed.

"You have to keep your equipment updated more often, lots and lots of rules and regulations you have to comply with now. It's not like it once was when I first came in. All those sorts of things weren't really there," said Mealey.

Lewis County Delegate Peggy Donaldson Smith was on hand at the event to present a grant from the state legislature and proclamation from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin honoring the department. Grants like those go a long way in making sure that the department continues to operate, something that's no longer a guarantee.

"You're seeing fire departments fold up and go away because of the strict mandates and lack of volunteerism, like this department is, it's all volunteers, no one here is paid, so it's very great to have a community that still holds together and is still here supporting their community on a volunteer basis," said Lewis County Commissioner Agnes Queen.

Queen said she's glad to see that so many are continuing to support the department. Walkersville has struggled like many other departments in the state, but Chief Mealey said that just like they would at a fire, the department has pulled together to succeed, and looks forward to another 50 years of service.

"We've had some rough times, we've got down to where there wasn't very many of us left, and here in the last couple of year's we've gained 10-12 firefighters, so we're picking back up," Mealey said.