History

The James City- Bruton Volunteer Fire Dept now located in Toano, Virginia and known as James City County Fire Station #1 is the result of the continuing efforts of the residents, Board of Supervisors and business community of James City County.

Organized on February 1, 1948 by residents of James City to provide fire protection and emergency help for everyone, without obligations or charges, the Fire Department today proudly continues to uphold the values and beliefs of the founding men and women of the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Dept.

The first regular meeting of the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department was held on March 2, 1948 in the Norge Community Hall. The meeting was opened by L. H. Cooley, who later was elected President of the Department. Mr. R.K. Taylor, Jr. was elected Vice President. Also elected were Mr. E.C. Sommers, Chief, with Mr. Henry Minor elected the First Assistant Chief.

The first meeting on March 2, 1948 was in response to a call to the public from citizen leaders on Feb. 22 1948 to form a volunteer fire department to protect the residents of James City County. The Virginia Gazette reported on March 2, 1948 that 200 residents of the County had responded to the public announcement on February 22 to begin work on forming a volunteer fire department.

On the night of March 16, 1948 a special meeting was called to adopt a set of by-laws to govern the new fire department. The meeting was held in the Norge Hall and was attended by 68 members of the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department.

Before any work was started on building fire stations, the volunteer department decided to locate a model-A chemical truck at Sommer’s Garage and a brush fire type truck was donated by the Virginia Department of Forestry and stationed at Tregonings’ Grocery in Lightfoot. Also, at the same time, efforts were made to create fire stations in the Five Forks-Jamestown Area and in the Grove Community.

No work was ever done on building a fire station in the Bruton District. Volunteer members from Bruton were regular members and active fire fighters in the Toano Station. The Camp Peary Military Base had an on-base Fire Department. With requests from James City-Bruton, a back gate from Camp Peary to Skimino Landing Road was built to gain access for emergency response outside of the base. James City-Bruton and Camp Peary supplied fire protection until York County built and opened a station at the corner of Newman and Fenton Mill Rd.

The second fire station built was in Toano, Virginia on land donated to the fire department by the R.K Taylor Family next to Taylor’s garage. The fire equipment from Tregonong’s and Ironbound Road was moved to the Toano station in 1951.

In 1964, work was started on the present fire station in Toano. Highway construction in 1964 and a lack of room for expansion on the Taylor Property was the reason for building a new station on the old Toano School tract at the intersection of Forge Road and Richmond Road. The new Toano Fire Station was completed in 1969 and has been added on to twice between 1980 and today. The latest addition in 2004 was a modern fully equipped bunkroom built and furnished by the Volunteer Department without any County tax monies.

Today, the Volunteer Fire Department is a state-of- the-art fire department that provides fire and rescue services to all citizens of all geographic areas of James City County, to the residents of western York County, and to the residents of Eastern New Kent County.

With over 50 active members and a staff of 12 James City County career firefighters and medics, the residents of our first due protection area are assured the best emergency care and emergency services available. Today, the James City Volunteer Rescue Squad also operates out of the station.

The James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire department wishes to recognize and gratefully thank the citizens of James City County and the citizens of the Bruton District of York County for their trust and generous support over the years we have served.