The Mineral Springs Fire Department dates back to before the 1950’s, when Mr. T.R. “Dink” Styers built and operated from his garage a 400 gallon trailer tank with a 60gpm pump and 100 feet of hose. Although Mr. Styers very generously maintained his trailer tank for the benefit of the entire community, he had long realized the need for more and better equipment. There were other businessmen in the Ogburn Station business area who shared Mr. Styers interest in establishing a fire unit. Consequently, a group of interested citizens, representing the Mineral Springs Civic Club, the White Rock Compliment Club, and the Ogburn Station Fire and Protective Association, met in the summer of 1951 and laid the ground work for a fire department. A twenty-one member Board of Directors was named from the sponsoring organizations. There were seven members picked from each organization. That fall the Mineral Springs Fire Department came into existence and in January of 1952 received its charter of incorporation.
A very successful fund-raising campaign in 1952 netted the department over $10,000 that paid for the first fire truck which had a 600 gallon water tank. The fire truck was ordered from John Bean Company. The officers at that time were Jack Tally as the Day Chief, C.R. “Bud” Young as the Assistant Day Chief and W. Gray Allen as the Night Chief. Both Talley and Allen were sent to Bean Company for intensive training in the operation of the new fire truck. The truck was housed in Tally’s Service Station and from that time on Mineral Springs Fire Department was officially in operation.
1955-1956 brought reorganization in the department with C.R. Stender becoming Chief and with Lawrence Duggins and C.R. “Bud” Young operating as Assistant Chiefs. The firemen trained tirelessly to be efficient firefighters and maintain strong moral and financial support from the community. John L. Hampton strived on in 1956 to become Forsyth County Fireman of the Year due to outstanding achievements in firefighting and community service.
In 1957, “Old Betsy”, a 1500 gallon war surplus oil tanker, was bought and converted into a water tanker. Chief Stender moved to Kentucky and Blake Ferguson was elected Chief. With the help of the two Assistant Chief, Duggings and Young, Chief Ferguson initiated a very intensive and successful training program for the firemen. The department continued to pay-as-you-go and managed to accumulate a balance in the bank. In 1959, Chief Ferguson was awarded with the honor of Forsyth County Fireman of the Year for his tireless work.
In 1960, a committee, composed of Mr. Styers, Gray Allen, Blake Ferguson, and C.W. Williams of Rocky Mount, spent many hours drawing up plans for a new fire truck that would offer the best protection for the community. This truck was ordered and built from W.S. Darley Company of Chicago at a cost of $22,000. The first fire truck purchased in the early 50’s was sold and in 1962 a badly needed 1500 gallon water tanker was bought from Darley costing about $18,000. At that time, a grass and brush truck was also bought from Darley. A good financial campaign left the year with all equipment paid in full.
1960 International Built by W.S. Darley
1962 International Built by W.S. Darley
1962 International Scout built by W.S. Darley
In 1964, the department entered into a very strong competition for the $300 award presented by the Fire Prevention Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. Assisting the Mineral Springs Civic Club, the Department conducted fire prevention parades, and also held open house at the fire station all week long providing refreshments, souvenirs, literature, films and educational exhibits. With all of these exhaustive efforts, Mineral Springs won the $300 prize. The following year, Mineral Springs went on to win the states competition in Fire Service Efficiency, sponsored by the Association of Independent Insurance Agencies. They were awarded $800 and a banquet at Pinebrook Country Club for this achievement.
In 1972, Mr. T.R. “Dink” Styers resigned his office as President of the Board of Directors. He had selflessly and faithfully served for 20 years and excelled in the undertaking of this position. Mr. C.A. Stewart Jr. was elected to replace Styers as the new President of the Board of Directors.
In late 1972, it was decided to form a rescue squad for Mineral Springs Fire District. A committee was appointed and a group started to investigate the requirements of equipment, training, and manpower that would be required to establish the squad. In August of 1973, the Chairman of the Board spoke with Colonel Ratcliff and found out that Mineral Springs could not get a Rescue Truck so the Heart-Lung Resuscitator would not be purchased. Hence, the rescue squad idea was canceled. Despite the setback, all the firemen pursued the training in First Aid courses which they would be able to use anywhere they might be of service.
During this time, the Chairman of the Board appointed a committee to investigate an area for a satellite station in the Baux Mountain Road and Red Bank Road area. The committee reported that the land at Baux Mountain Road and Red Bank Road was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Bowman and could be bought for the future Mineral Springs Fire Station. The Board of Directors agreed to give the Bowman’s first right of refusal to the land purchase in October 1973 if the Department decided to sale.
In December 1975, it was decided to purchase two lots located on Hwy 66 approximately 500 feet west of Flynts Store it was then decided to sale the lots on Baux Mountain Road and Red Bank Road.
In April 1976, it was decided to get an architect to design a set of plans for the new building to be drawn to the committee’s specifications and to investigate buying a new fire truck.
At the October 1977 meeting, a gift of the Old Hollow Civic Club and a tract of land adjoining the Civic Club were given to the department. They decided it was best to demolish the club house and then sale the land. Also in late 1977, a new fire truck was purchased and housed at the station in Ogburn Station until the new station could be built.
In June 1979, they started the truck bay section of the new station on Hwy 66. It was estimated to be finished by September 1979.
In April 1980, it was discussed and voted in favor, for discontinuing the contract with the city of Winston-Salem for response inside the city. We would still continue mutual aid but not on an automatic dispatch.
1978 Howe International 800 gallon Pumper
It was decided in March 1981, to buy another lot adjoining the property on Hwy 66, where the bay station were located. This would add on a meeting room, kitchen and office spaces. The new Fire Station was dedicated December 27, 1981 during open house events. In April 1985 it was decided to install a fire hydrant and concrete pad to wash fire hoses and equipment.
In 1986, a committee was formed to purchase a new tanker. The new truck was purchased as a Pumper/Tanker with a 1000 gallon tank. The truck was also equipped with a quick dump which increased the water shuttle capacity in the rural areas.
In the early part of 1987, a committee once again was appointed to check into starting a Rescue Squad. The Board of Directors agreed to proceed with a rescue squad and it was put into service July 1, 1987. The first truck was loaned to Mineral Springs from Kernersville Rescue Squad. It was used until a purchase of a 1980 Chevy box unit from the Winston-Salem Rescue Squad.
Mineral Springs Fire and Rescue still owns and has fully refurbished the original water trailer.
1986 Gruman Pumper / Tanker
Graciously Loaned by Kernersville Rescue Squad
In 1990, a committee was appointed to replace the 1962 brush truck which was still in service. A 1990 Ford F-350 with a utility bed and slide pump was bought. This truck also acted as the backup to the squad for the department.
In 1994, a committee was appointed to replace the Rescue Squad with one that was able to carry more equipment and was more up to date. A Squad truck was purchased from Chiefs Fire and Rescue Company later that year.
In the later part of 1996 and early part of 1997, it was decided to sale the old station on Old Rural Hall Road. It was also decided to sale the 1960 Engine, the 1962 Tanker and the 1962 Brush Truck. A committee was also appointed to design a new fire truck, which was purchased from Pierce Fire. At the same time, the Station on Hwy 66 underwent some expansion to better house all of the equipment. Two bays were added to the building to bring the department to where it is at this time.
In September 2002, Mineral Springs Volunteer Fire Department evolved from only serving as volunteers to adding 5 paid personnel to cover the station Monday thru Friday from 8am-5pm when most of the volunteers are at work. This would help better serve the community. Also in 2002, a committee was formed to explore the purchasing of another fire truck. It was later decided to purchase another truck from Pierce Fire.
In late 2006, the city of Winston-Salem continued to grow annexing areas of the district once again. In that time the city approached and ultimately contracted with the department in order to better serve those areas of annexation by providing automatic dispatch with the city units on fire and medical emergencies.
Since that time, the department purchased a Chevy Suburban from Forsyth County EMS to help better serve the community. The Suburban can go more places than the Squad is capable.
In late 2007, a committee to replace the 1990 brush truck came about. It was decided to be replaced with a new 2008 Ford F-350 Custom Grass/Brush Unit from Slagles Fire.
Under the leadership of Chief Norman Walker and Assistant Chief David Smith, the department has made the biggest advancement yet to better serve the community. On July 1, 2008, Mineral Springs Fire and Rescue went to 24 hours paid staff that will be supplemented by the roster of volunteers. This arrangement will help guarantee to all citizens of the community, that the department will be capable of providing an apparatus on the road within a matter of minutes in the event of an emergency.
In 1953, a lot in Ogburn Station was purchased and a fire house was built at 4411 Old Rural Hall Road by Mr. Styers at the cost of about $8,000, Mr. Styers donated his time to the project. Another successful financial campaign paid for the lot and building. The department was operating on a pay-as-you-go basis. Firefighting clothing (aka turn-out gear) and equipment was bought in 1954.
1964 brought drastic changes to the department as the city of Winston-Salem began to annex to grow. As the city grew, parts of Mineral Springs district were taken into the city limits. However, a contract was made with the city for us to continue to provide services to the annexed area on a financial basis. Cooperation with the city units, especially Company #9, has been most satisfying.
As time has passed, the department has grown with the community. A Junior Firefighter Program was established that instills morals, values, and discipline in young people who want to volunteer their time. Many times these young people choose to continue to further their career in this service. As they mature, they have the option to become full volunteers.
Throughout 2013 there were many discussions between Forsyth County Emergency Services, the board of Winston-Salem Rescue Squad, and the leadership and board members of Mineral Springs Fire Department. These discussions were to secure the direction of the former Winston-Salem Rescue Squad and to offer the membership that was currently controlled under the Forsyth County Emergency Services Reserve program name an new home. These discussions were finalized in the fall of 2013 and final motions were put into place. With these changes came the incorporation of Rescue 603 and the Animal Rescue Trailer along with all active membership to become part of Mineral Springs. So as of January 1, 2014 Mineral Springs will officially become the new home to a dedicated group of members who have carried a strong tradition of history and experience, that tradition spans back to 1937 which made Winston-Salem Rescue Squad the oldest rescue squad in North Carolina and one of the oldest in the United States. This makes us proud to welcome them to our organization!