The primary mission of the Valdese Fire Department is to protect the citizens of and visitors to the Town of Valdese from the adverse effects of natural and man-made emergencies. Through fire protection, emergency medical care, fire prevention, and public education, we are committed to serving the public with respect, dedication, and compassion.
- The first organized firefighting unit in Valdese was formed in 1932 and was totally volunteer. The membership was twenty-strong, with Town Manager Lee Ribet serving as Fire Chief. The first fire truck was a 1917 Model T. Edward Pascal, former town councilman, recalls the fire truck being housed in a one-car garage at the present site of the First United Methodist Church. Shortly after, the department received a brand-new 1932 Mack Pumper. This truck is still used today by the department for parades.
- In 1947 an American LaFrance Quad was purchased. The Quad functioned as both a pumper and a ladder truck due to having a pump and a large selection of ladders, including a 50’ ground ladder with tormentor poles.
- In 1949, A.O. Anderson became the first full-time member of the Valdese Fire Department. He served as Assistant Fire Chief under Chief Lee Ribet.
- In 1962, A.O. Anderson became the first paid fire chief. Shortly after, the department took delivery of a 1963 Ford/American LaFrance pumper. Chief Anderson was instrumental in helping establish the first countywide fire radio system.
- Upon Chief Anderson’s retirement in 1973, Sherrill Brittain moved from Assistant Fire Chief to become Fire Chief. Chief Brittain oversaw the move into the department’s present-day facility.
- In 1975, a Mack pumper was purchased; however, it is not in service today.
- In 1985, the department established its medical response unit and purchased a Pierce Arrow Quint.
- 1987 - Sherrill Brittain retired as Fire Chief.
- 1988 - Ernest Bertalot became Fire Chief after serving as Assistant Fire Chief since 1973.
- A 1995 Pierce Dash was purchased to take the place of the aging 1963 Ford.
- On October 1st of 1996, the department initiated the Emergency Medical Technician - Defibrillation Program within its medical response unit.
- Chief Bertalot retired at the end of 1998.
- Charles Watts was named Fire Chief on January 1st of 1999.
- 2001- The department joined Safe Kids Burke County and became a Permanent Checking Station through the NC Office of State Fire Marshal
- A 2004 Pierce Quantum engine was purchased to replace the 1975 Mack.
- 2015- Due to the nationwide shortage of volunteer firefighters, the Valdese Fire Department hired five part-time firefighters. One part-time firefighter and four full-time firefighters are on-duty Monday through Friday 0800 to 1700 hrs. One full-time firefighter is on-duty seven days a week, 24 hours a day
- 2016- Junior Firefighters Program was initiated.
- 2018 – In January of 2018, the department placed a new 75 ft. Pierce Enforcer Ladder Truck into service. This multi-purpose apparatus responds to all structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, and rescue incidents.
- Chief Watts retired on June 30, 2019 Greg Stafford was named Fire Chief July 1, 2019.
- 2020: The department added ATV 1, a 2020 Kawasaki Mule Pro FX. This unit responds to off-road medical and fire emergencies and is utilized during medical and fire stand-by events.
- Chief Stafford retired on April 30, 2023. Truman Walton was named Fire Chief on May 1, 2023
121 Faet Street, SW