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To provide protection for the Town of Marlinton, and surrounding areas from fire and the dangers of fire, to promote interest in firefighting, fire protection, fire prevention, and education. To Provide  Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Rescue, and to maintain and use all available equipment necessary for Firefighting, Fire prevention, Emergency Medical Services, and Rescue.


To provide for the safety of our members, by offering up to date training and equipment, so our personnel can deal professionally and effectively with emergency and hazards to life and property in the best interests of all citizens in Marlinton and surrounding areas.

to About


Brief History

Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department


In April of 1906, after a disastrous fire on Main Street of Marlinton, a group of citizens appeared before the Town Council stating that the Town needed an organized Fire Department, with good leadership and training; they requested that the Council form such a Department. The Town Council took the request under advisement until more information could be obtained. Up until this time the Town had some fire fighting equipment, but still relied heavily on "bucket brigades". Whichever citizens got to the limited amount of fire fighting equipment would use it, most of the time not knowing proper procedures for extinguishing a fire.


On May 4, 1906, the Town Council appointed Paris D. Yeager as Commissioner to organize a Fire Department. On May 17, 1906, Mr. Yeager, made a report back to the Town Council in which he recommended that there be three hose companies: The West Marlinton Company, The East Marlinton Company, and The Marlinton Company. These Companies would shortly be renamed to The Uptown Company, The Downtown Company, and The Tannery Company. Upon Mr. Yeager's recommendation, the Town Council appointed the following citizens as the first organized firefighters and fire police: The West Marlinton Company — Andrew Price, Calvin W. Price, and Dr. N. R. Price. The Marlinton Company — J. A. Sydenstricker, Forrest Clark, S. L. Hogsett, R. M. Beard, G. W. Ashcraft, George Duncan, H. W. Payne, E. B. Hill, Dr. Guilford, N. W. Nickell, J. D. Pullin, George Eakle, B. F. Willis, Dwight Alexander, R. A. Kramer. S. B. Wallace, John Wallace, B. F. Wallace, Boyd Siple, J. V. Knight, and J. A. Sharp. The East Marlinton Company — E. D. King, Frank King, Ted King, Dr. Yeager, A. D. Williams, Clarence McLaughlin, William Gibson, W. H. Wheelwright, J. W. Hill, Thomas Reynolds, Steve Hiner, E. M. Arbogast, and T. S. McNeel. Fire Police — G. W. Duncan, J. A. Sharp, J. D. Pullin, H. W. Payne, George Eakle, E. D. King, Frank King, J. W. Hill, E. M. Arbogast, and Andrew Price.


At the regular Town Council meeting in June 1906, the Council appointed B. F. Willis as the first Fire Chief and the rules and regulation recommended by the members were accepted. Thus, The Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department was organized. At this same meeting, N. C. McNeil, Calvin W. Price, and J. V. Knight were appointed to draft the first fire ordinance which was relative to any interference or hindrance of firemen in the discharge of their duties.


In these early days, the alarm was sounded according to the location of the fire. The men in that area of town would go to the location of the fire with other hose companies responding later if needed. If the fire was severe, it was a common practice for the officer in charge to elect bystanders to help fight the fire. Also, in the early years, the men had very little protective turnout gear and were lucky to have so much as a helmet.


In April of 1907, the Town Council approved the purchase of the first rubber fireman's suits and ordered fire alarm boxes to be installed throughout the Town. The next month (May 1907), B. F. Willis, J. W. Hill, and John L. Wallace were appointed to a committee to estimate the cost of a hose drying tower and firemen's house, and to buy additional fire fighting equipment.


On October 17, 1932, the Department requested that Town Council buy a motorized fire truck. In 1933, the Department purchased it first piece of motorized equipment, at an approximate cost of $1400.00. Engine Number One was a 1933 Ford, with a 500 gallon per minute front mount pump and was built by W. S. Darley Company. This unit was housed in the Marlinton Electric building on Third Avenue, at a rental cost of $4.00 per month.


Engine Number Two was purchased in 1951 from Oren Roanoke Corporation for a cost of $11,209.94. Engine Number Two was a 750 gallon per minute pumper built on a 1951 Dodge chassis. This unit was used by the Department until 1984, when it was sold. This Engine was first housed in the Board of Education building on Fifth Avenue until 1954.


On April 7, 1952, a delegation of citizens from the Campbelltown area appeared before the Town Council and requested that the Fire Department be allowed to respond to fires in their area. The Council approved their request, with the following provisions: Only one engine would leave the corporate limits and if that engine was needed back in Town, it would disengage and return to Town. A limit of 15 miles was placed on out of Town fires.


Since 1952, the Department has operated an ambulance service and rescue squad.


In 1954 the Department acquired the B. E. Smith, Sr. building on Second Avenue and converted it into Marlinton's first fire station. Shortly before moving into the new fire station, on January 13, 1953, under the leadership of Chief John White, the Department was reorganized.


In 1958 Engine Number Three was purchased at a cost of $8,090.00. It was a 500 gallon per minute Howe Pumper built on a Ford chassis. Engine Three was replaced in June of 1964 by Engine Number Four, a 750 gallons per minute pumper built by Oren Roanoke Corporation on a 1964 Chevrolet chassis. Engine Number Three was sold to Cowen Fire Department for $5,000.00.


Also in 1964 the Department purchased its first two-way radios, one mobile unit for Engine Four and one base unit for the Fire Station. In 1968 a base radio was also located at the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. Today the Department has radio communications between all of its units and is dispatched by the Pocahontas County 911 Emergency Center.


On October 31, 1965 the Department purchased a 1939 American Lafrance ladder truck from Ocean City, New Jersey for $950.00. This truck was equipped with wooden extension ladders, ranging up to fifty feet, which enabled the Department to reach the upper levels of several buildings in town.


By 1960 it became apparent to the members and Chief Fred Burns, Jr. that the Department would someday require larger quarters, so late in 1960 a program was started to develop a future building plan. In 1967 the first stage in the building program was completed when the Department purchased two lots adjoining the fire station on Second Avenue from Clark Brumagin. Also in 1967 a preliminary building plan was drawn up, which included the Town offices and space for community activities. After several denials the building program was 100% funded in late 1972 by EDA and demolition of the Town Office, Fire Station, and the two buildings purchased earlier by the Department was started that fall, mostly by volunteer labor. Construction of the new building was started in early 1973 with the completion in late 1974. During this period of time the Department again housed its equipment at the Board of Education building on Fifth Avenue and Richard Barlow's garage between Second and Third Avenue. In June 1975 the new Municipal and Fire Station building was dedicated and Senator Jennings Randolph was made an honorary member of the Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department. In 1974 the Department received two 2 1/2 ton cargo trucks through the County Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Government excess property program. These trucks were repainted fire department colors and one was fitted with a 1500 gallon tank and pump, which was used as a tanker on out of town fires and some in town areas. It was frequently used for brush fires and carried forest fire fighting equipment on it. It was also used to evacuate citizens during floods. It was numbered Tanker Seven. The other one, Utility Number Eight, was fitted with a cover over the bed and was used for

evacuation and movement of equipment in rough areas. These two trucks were sold in the summer of 1986.


In 1975 the Department purchased a Tele-squirt ladder truck with a 50 foot hydraulic ladder, 500 gallon tank, 1000 gallon per minute pump, and other necessary equipment, that was developed to meet special problems facing many small fire departments today. A pumper/tele-squirt is one answer for any small department trying to protect residential and industrial areas. With the fingertip controls it is possible for one man to operate this many functional  truck. The pumper/tele-squirt is Ladder Number Five.


In 1977 the Department received two 3/4 ton weapon carriers, Unit Number Ten and Unit Number Eleven, and a 3/4 ton ambulance under the same program as Tanker Seven. All three were painted fire department colors and were used for flood work or other rough area work. The ambulance, Squad Nine, carried cave rescue equipment in it along with a good many first aid supplies. Squad Nine could carry four patients, had a winch and was four-wheel drive, which made it ideal for getting to emergencies in the rough areas of Pocahontas County. All three of these units were sold in the spring of 1986.


Around 1981, the Department purchased Engine Number Fourteen. This additional engine was purchased in order to maintain the standards that were required by the Fire Service. Engine Number Fourteen was a true Mack Fire Engine.


In December of 1978 the Department purchased Rescue Twelve, a mini pumper and rescue/crash truck. Rescue Twelve was built on a four-wheel drive Chevrolet chassis with a heavy duty winch. It was built by Emergency One of Florida for the first response unit on highway accidents and rural fires. This specially built truck was the first of its type to be partly funded by the Governor's Highway Safety Committee in West Virginia. Rescue Twelve was equipped to handle almost any type of emergency due to highway connected accidents. Rescue Twelve was sold in 1986. On November 4, 1985 the Town of Marlinton was engulfed by a record flood and nearly all of the Department's equipment was lost or severely damaged: from the firemen's turnout gear to the fire engines and ambulances. Most of the members also suffer severe loss or damage to their homes and businesses. Chief Burns faced with a major disaster, put the call out for help and departments from throughout West Virginia and other States responded, loaning equipment and supplies, until Marlinton could rebuild their Department.


Chief Burns, with the support of the members, started almost immediately rebuilding the Department. Engine Number 14 and Ladder Number 5 were rebuilt. Rescue Twelve was replaced by a new 1986 mini-pumper.  Engine Number Four was sold and replaced by Engine Number Twenty, built by Grumman on a Mack chassis. Tanker Twenty One was purchased new. It was a super tanker built by Grumman on a Mack chassis. Rescue Nineteen was purchased new. Rescue Nineteen was a heavy duty rescue truck, which was designed to act as a command center when needed and was built by Ashley Emergency Vehicles of North Carolina. Squad 18 was purchased new. It was a 1986 GMC Suburban.


In 2005 Under the Leadership of Chief Peacock  Engine Number Fourteen was sold to Durbin and Rescue Nineteen was sold to a company in Illinois. These two vehicles were replaced by a 2005 Custom rescue/engine built by Smeal on a HME chassis. The 1986 mini-pumper was replaced in 2007 by a Chevrolet 3500 with a slide in pump unit, this truck is also equipped with rescue equipment. A 1986 Suburban utility vehicle has been replaced with a 2012 2500 Chevrolet as a first responder/Utility Vehicle.  In 2009 the department purchased a 75’ Ladder Truck and sold the 1975  Tele-squirt ladder truck to Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department.


Under the current Leadership Chief Herby Barlow,  Tanker engine 121 was donated to the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department, and Replaced with a 2003 Spartan Tanker/Engine.  The rescue squad purchased a 2015 3500 Ambulance and sold A 2005 Ambulance to the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital ambulance service. In 2015 The Department acquired a swift water rescue boat and equipment that was bought on a grant thru the county commission. In June of 2019 a 2009 KME Engine  was purchased to be first out Fire Engine.  Engine 120 was donated to the Hillsboro Fire Department.  


Currently the Department consists of thirty seven, well trained senior firefighters, junior firefighters and emergency personnel, with years of experience. The average firefighter and emergency personnel spends better than 400 hours a year serving the citizens of Marlinton and surrounding areas. As much as two thirds of these hours are spent in training and preparation for a fire or other emergency. The men and women of the Department in 1906 concerned themselves with only fighting fires, but as the needs of the citizens became greater, the fire department had to expand into other fields of emergency training. As a well trained firefighter or emergency personnel, a member may be called upon to help with an automobile accident, cave

rescue, floods, ice jams, plane crashes, search parties, or to respond to a mutual aid call from another department. During major emergencies the Department operates a Command Center and most members are trained in all aspects of the Command Center.


The Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. has grown in its one hundred ten years to meet the needs of our times. The Department has some of the best equipment and a group of very dedicated citizens, who puts aside their personal needs to help those whose needs are far greater, sometimes spending long hours or even days before returning to their homes and own families. Every member prays that all the equipment and the many hours of training may never be needed, but when it is, if you are able to save one family's' home or one person's life.


Fire Chiefs


B. F. Willis                  1906 — 1907

John Sydenstricker  1907 — 1910

Calvin Price               1911 — 1915

Darley Williams        1916 — 1932

Jim Bear                    1933

Paul Overholt            1934 — 1946

John Bear                  1947 — 1948

John White                1948 — 1954

Harry Hockenberry  1954 — 1959

Fred C. Burns, Jr.     1959 — 1987

Tony Ricottilli            1987 — 1998

David Peacock          1998 — 2011

Herby Barlow            2011 --- 2012

Kenny Hall                 2012 --- 2014

Herby Barlow            2014 --- Present

to Services

136 Barlow, Herby   Chief/Paramedic / FF 

137 Barlow, Jennifer    Rescue Captain/EMT 

159 Brock, Nicole EMT 

185 Cassell, Brad     2nd Lieutenant/EMT / FF

140 Cook , Travis    Captain/EMT  

192 Duncan, Austin   Driver 

169 Duncan, Jeryl     Assistant Chief/Paramedic / FF 

165 Fitzgerald, Dustin  

188 Friel, Austin    FF 

194 Friel, James    FF

195 Friel, Ryan Jr.

191 Hayhurst, Braedan Jr.

186 Helton, Curtis    1st Lieutenant/FF   

179 Kellison, Brittany  Paramedic
178 Kellison II, James F    Deputy Chief/FF

183 Kestner, Chuck 

171 Lantz, Doug    President/EMT/FF/Executive Board

157 Long, Tiffany    EMT 

174 Miller, Michael    FF 

153 Miller, Tom    Driver 

173 Ober, Kendel    FF

187 Price, Christopher  Jr.   

142 Sharp, Donald    FF/Driver

175 Sharp, Jason  FF 

166 Sharp, Randy     EMS 1st Lieutenant/EMT/FF 

163 Spencer, Conner 

162 Spencer, Haley Jr.

158 Stephens, Lillian Jr

196 Thompson, Kevin FF.

181 Tracy, Allen (Gene) FF

176 Teter, Corey     FF/Executive Board  

198 Tritapoe, Steve   EMS 2nd Lieutenant/EMT

182 Water, James Brandon 

189 Wilfong, Coltin 

to Work


Each year, fires as well a variety of other emergencies kills thousands of people and destroy billions of dollars of property. Firefighters are professionals that specialize in helping to protect the public against these dangers by responding to fires and life threatening emergencies. Although firefighters

are known for fighting fires, they are most frequently required to respond to other emergencies. More often than not they are the first emergency personnel to arrive at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to treat injuries and perform other vital medical, rescue, and emergency response functions.

Firefighters have to be prepared to respond on a moment's notice to fires or other emergencies. Fighting fires is more complex than it may appear and is very dangerous; it requires supreme organization and teamwork. Regardless of the emergency, fire fighters must perform specific duties as assigned by their supervising officer. At fires, fire fighters connect hose lines to fire hydrants and operate a pump to send water to high-pressure hoses. While some firefighters are responsible for carrying hoses, other climb ladders and enter burning buildings-using carefully planned and systematic and procedures-to control and/or extinguish fires. Often, firefighters use specialized tools to work their way through walls, doors, and debris. Firefighters rescue individuals who can’t escaped a burning building safely without firefighter assistance. They also provide emergency medical attention when an EMT is not on the scene, ventilate smoke-filled areas and salvage valuable property when possible. An individual firefighters' duties and tasks may change frequently while the company is on the scene fighting a fire or providing other life saving emergency services. They may remain at the scene of a major disaster for several days at a time, rescuing survivors that are trapped, and assisting with the medical treatment of survivors.

     EMTs are health care professionals who work on ambulances to respond to 911 calls. Emergency calls can range from life threatening issues, such as cardiac arrests or gunshot wounds, to minor complaints, such as sore throats or sprained ankles. These calls bring EMTs to a wide variety of locations, including patients’ homes, businesses, and even out on the street. Once on scene with the patient, EMTs efficiently treat any life-threatening issues, such as difficulty breathing or major bleeding. Subsequently, they recognize  the major health complaint through careful completion of a history and physical exam. Depending on level of training, EMTs may intubate patients in the field, acquire and read an EKG, and treat patients with medications while en route to the hospital

     In rural areas, EMTs are a crucial link between the hospital and a widely distributed population. In urban areas, EMTs act in concert with police and fire to coordinate life-saving care with major hospital centers


     In the field, EMTs work closely with firefighters and police. Firefighters are wonderful assets to EMTs as they assist with difficult extractions on the scene of motor vehicle collisions and can also provide medical care to the patient should the EMS unit require additional assistance. Once the team has arrived at the hospital, EMTs interact directly with nurses and emergency medical physicians to transfer patient care. EMTs provide doctors and nurses with vital background information on the patient by relaying pertinent history and physical exam findings



    Basic EMT (also called EMT-B). This is an entry-level position where you learn basic lifesaving skills and health care knowledge required to provide pre-hospital care. People at this level are typically paired with a higher-level provider (EMT-I or paramedic) in ambulances, on fire trucks, or in the emergency department. Certification requires at least 154 hours of classroom and practical education. Many colleges will offer one-month, three-month, or semester-long courses that allow you to become trained and certified.


2. Intermediate/Enhanced EMT (also called EMT-I). This is an intermediate position that does not exist in all states, but it expands the scope of practice for the EMT-B with more skills, medications, and knowledge. It requires basic EMT training and some experience in the field.


3. Paramedic (also called EMT-P). This is the most advanced pre-hospital provider. EMT-Ps have a broad healthcare knowledge and an advanced life-saving skill set. This training often requires at least 700 hours of classroom training, as well as a significant amount of experience in the field, but medics can work in any setting, including airborne (helicopter) and wilderness EMS.

Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department
709 2nd Avenue
Marlinton, WV  24954

P:  304-799-4211
F:  304-799-2242


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