History of Rural Fire Service in Rowan County
By Jeff Whitley, Chief Ellis Cross Country Volunteer Fire Department (VFD)
To fully understand the development of the rural fire service in Rowan County one must first look at the development of the county from the early part of the 20th century.
Another big thing that happened in the way of funding was the fire tax.
The story of rural fire protection in Rowan County begins on November 23, 1950 in the St. Paul’s Church community.
The 1980s were a time of growth and prosperity for many fire departments in the county.
Since the rural fire service started in 1951 several things have taken place that greatly improved service.
Today Rowan County continues to have the same 21 rural fire departments operating that it has always had.
The last major change that I have seen also came out of tragedy. And that was the Salisbury Millworks fire on March 7, 2008.