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News « South Sumter Fire

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South Sumter’s Annual Christmas Party

This year’s South Sumter Christmas and Awards Party was a tremendous success.  Thanks to all those that do so much throughout the year to make the lives of all Sumter County residents better.  As usual there was more food than would be possible to eat in several days available for everyone to enjoy.  Those in attendance enjoyed laughs and a top notch video of the activities of all departments throughout the year.  The video, prepared by Rindy Vaughan, also contained a special tribute for the anniversary of 9-11-01 and a segment on the tornadoes that struck the area this year.  Before the meal the firefighter and fire officer of the year were announced as well as several other awards.  It is wonderful to be a part of such an organization and we hope to continue to see our organization grow in the years to come. 


Special thanks to Janell Hughes for decorating and making sure things were set up inside. 

Guests begin to arrive.

Everyone had a great time and shared quite a few laughs. 

Chief Pendergrass, working hard on part of the menu. 

Fund Raising Director Mark Stallings talks with Northstar EMS Supervisor Jubal Ryan, Rindy Vaughan, and Bev Holder outside the building.  A special thanks to Mark this year for getting our fund raising efforts off the ground. 

Deputy Chief Holder and Jubal Ryan await the new pot of high octane coffee in the kitchen. 

Ward Asst. Chief Bragg speaking at the banquet. 

From L to R – Siloam Chief (Battalion Chief) Terry W. Pendergrass won the South Sumter Fire Officer of the year award for 2011.  Whitfield Firefighter Johnnie Steele won the Firefighter of the year award for her efforts throughout the year.  She was instrumental in warning her community of the impending tornado that struck the previous month. Cuba Chief (Battalion Chief) C. R. Vaughan was presented with an award by the family of Asst. Chief Bragg. 

The opening screen of this year’s video.  Each year we look forward to the efforts of Rindy and all those that send her pictures and other items. 

The new shoulder patch and logo of the South Sumter Group was unveiled at this years banquet as well.  This patch will be proudly worn by the men and women that keep our little corner of the world safe for years into the future.

Christmas Safety…

Each year the period around Christmas and New Years causes firefighters to cringe and worry with each set of tones.  Anyone who has been in this business for long as seen all to often the tragedy of loss.  However, around Christmas the loss seems much more poignant that normal.  Help us protect your family this year by observing a few safety tips with decorations and candles.

The video provided by NIST is a clear reminder of how dangerous this time of the year can be if we don’t take precautions.

  • Don’t place your live Christmas tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
  • Use only nonflammable decorations.




Fire Prevention…

Sumter Academy students visited South Sumter Fire Departments at old Cuba School for fire prevention.  The structure fire in York called away some of the members that were to be present, but Siloam, Cuba, and Ward Firefigthers filled in the gaps and a good time was enjoyed by all. 

Siloam Firefighter/EMT-I William Flowers talks to students about the equipment firefighters use.

Students hold the hose.

Smiling faces…

Fish Fry Success!

South Sumter Battalion held a fundraiser and fun day at the Cuba School on Saturday, October 15th.  Catfish was on the menu and fun was certainly in the air as members from various stations in the battalion assembled to cook and serve.  There was a return of the infamous dunking booth and it appeared that Asst. Chief Bragg did get over his horrible ear infection that kept him out of the dunking booth in May.  The day was a blast and a success and the next fund raiser is planned for December 3rd.  Hope to see you there.  Below is a few pictures provided by Skip Holder and Janell Hughes.


More shirts will be available.  Proud to be a member of such a great group of firefighters. 

Special thanks to Cuba Firefighter Mark Stallings and volunteer Leonard Hartman (Past Chief of Cuba Fire)

Mr. Freddy breading the fish.  Mr. Freddy is a founding member and current chief of the Ward Fire Department.

Siloam Firefighter Paul Deloach takes over for Mr. Freddy and keeps the fish rolling out.

Rindy and Ashlynne Vaughan preparing plates for everyone. 

Ward Captain Connie Harvison and Cuba Asst. Chief Charles Fisher preparing plates.

Leonard Hartman cooking up some hush puppies.  Thanks Lennie!

Cuba Firefighter Mark Stallings is a fish cooking master!

Siloam Asst. Chief Hughes has that look.  Don’t make a move on the fish!

Faye Deloach working in the kitchen.

The crew sets up the dunking booth

Ward Asst. Chief Bragg is calling the shots from the hot seat.

Cuba Asst. Chief Fisher on the way down.

Ward Firefighter Ashley Harvison takes on for the team.

Annual Test…

Pumpers and engines in the South Sumter underwent annual service testing on Saturday, October 1st. All units that were tested passed without any problem and will be on the streets protecting the citizens of South Sumter for another year. One particular engine, Ward Engine, stands out among the pack. This old warhorse showed once again that it is one of the best for a reason. The Ward Engine is a 1979 Hahn that was purchased used by Ward Fire in 2000. The engine was well cared for and refurbished by its original owners and the Ward Fire department has taken care of it as well. Once again, this engine pulled the fastest prime of all engines and tankers, and met its rated pump capacity with fewer RPMs that stated on the day it was built. She is certainly an oldie but a goodie.


The Ward Engine during the test. 

Siloam Engine 1 undergoing the test. 

Cuba Fire’s oldest engine undergoing the test.

WTC Steel passes through South Sumter

The National Chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighter Fund (www.terryfund.org) is currently undertaking a cross country tour to deliver a piece of the World Trade Center to the San Diego Fire Museum. The Terry Fund also provided a transfer truck and a half worth of firefighting equipment to the Alabama Departments that were heavily damaged or destroyed in the April 15th and April 27th tornados. This act tells everyone what the Terry Fund is all about. Here is a brief history of the fund taken from the national website…

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was established in memory of Terry Farrell, a decorated member of Rescue 4/FDNY and Chief of the Dix Hills Volunteer Fire Department. Terry, along with 342 of his brothers, perished on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center attack. Our Fund is here to assist firefighters and their families with educational, medical and equipment needs. We support the firefighters who serve our communities. The Terry Farrell Fund is operated predominately by Firefighters along with friends of the Fund. We operate on a volunteer basis in order to give back to our firefighting community. See our chapters on the right.

Brian Farrell, the brother of the late Chief Farrell, was on hand at the Alabama Fire College on Monday, July 26th to speak to the assembled guests and dignitaries. The Alabama Departments that will be impacted by this much needed equipment will never forget the source and the great love that emanates from this organization toward all firefighters and their loved ones.

While one the group was in transit to their next stop in Louisiana they got off the interstate at the Cuba exit to change drivers.  It was quite a  surprise when Deputy Chief Holder was recognized by a former co-worker from the Federal Fire Service in San Diego


Chief Holder and Billy.  The fire service is a small family indeed.

The apparatus used to transport the steel across the country was provided by Ferrara Fire Apparatus.

The crew driving the steel across the country to the museum.  The chunk pulled from ground zero is seen in the open compartment. 

To some this is a mere piece of metal…  To those in the fire service it is a reminder of the 343 fellow firefighters, as well as countless other public servants and civilians who lost their lives when our nation suffered a cowardly attack on September, 11, 2001.   Best of luck guys and prayers for a safe journey.

July 4th…

Deputy Chief Holder has put on a top notch Independence Day party for the Siloam Community for nearly a decade now.  The celebration is well attended and fireworks and good food can be found there.  Below is a video and a few shots from this years party that had to compete with rain and natures fireworks (lightening).  Looking forward to next year.

Traffic Swap at US 80 and AL 17…

The Alabama DOT changed the flow of traffic at US Highway 80 and Alabama Highway 17 this past week.  Traffic was swapped to the newly constructed bridge and lane while the old lane and bridge are repaired before being reopened.  The intersection is well marked, but will be confusing to any who were used to the old intersection.  Caution should be exercised when crossing the highway at this location.

Photos – J. Hughes

Association Meeting…

South Sumter Fire Stations hosted the Sumter County Firefighters Association meeting on Tuesday, June 14th.  The meeting was supposed to be held at the North Sumter Fire Station, but because of tornado damage they were not able to host the meeting.  Siloam agreed to hose the meeting and other stations in the South Sumter group provided food and drinks for the members from other departments. 

Photos by J. Hughes

Burn Ban

Office of the Governor




June 7, 2011

Governor Bentley Signs Emergency Drought Condition Declaration

Outdoor Burning Ban in Place Across the State

MONTGOMERY— Because extremely dry conditions have created an atmosphere where the probability of catastrophic wildfire activity is high, Governor Robert Bentley today signed an Emergency Drought Condition Declaration prohibiting outdoor burning in all 67 counties in Alabama.

Since January, 1,808 wildfires have burned over 41,000 acres in Alabama, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.

“The lack of rain and unseasonably high temperatures have left much of the state extremely dry, creating high risk potential for devastating wildfires,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “As Alabamians are recovering from the tornados that moved through the state in April, it is important that debris not be burned. We must take every precaution necessary to avoid the start of a wildfire.”

According to State Forester Linda S. Casey, “The reduced availability of suppression resources, combined with the large amount of timber that was downed by the recent tornados, extremely high temperatures, and low relative humidity increase the risk for catastrophic wildfires.”

Pursuant to the emergency rule, it is illegal for a person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes, to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other material that may cause a forest, grass, or woods fire.  The fine for violating the No Burn Order is up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

The order is effective immediately.