The Carrollton/ North Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department recently held its annual Firemen’s Ball at the Carrollton Community House. Several local county officials and residents attended the banquet. All proceeds from the night went to help fund the fire department.
The department has a coverage area of 227 miles in its primary response area and it serves 4,000 citizens countywide. They operate with 16 volunteer firemen and 8 trucks. Their annual budget is $22,000. “The banquet helps fund one third of the budget,” said Fire Chief Phil Costilow.
County Fire Coordinator Scott Montgomery said, in a speech to the attendees, that the department is working on some rating changes to help out with insurance costs.
“I do want to thank everyone in the county who helps us every day. I know I call and ask a lot of things of you at times, and I appreciate what y’all have done for us,” Montgomery said.
“Scott and our supervisors have managed to do a lot over the years and we will continue to strive to do better,” Costilow said. They would like to acquire more equipment, he added.
Costilow also recognized the commitment and efforts that the 16 firemen put into working as volunteers for the department.
“We have a fine group of men,” Costilow said. “Most of them have served with me or under me for the last 30 years. We have a non-existent turnover rate, which is a good thing to have in our industry because once you acquire a bunch of firemen’s respect and trust, that is something that travels with you the rest of your life,” he said.
“Standing here before you, you are looking at 298 years of firefighting experience,” Costilow said of the men.
Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Lord was honored with a Lifetime of Service award for his service to the community. Lord has a total of 58 years in firefighting experiences. He has worked as a fire chief in Greenwood, a state fire marshal, and has worked with other local departments.
“This is the best department I’ve served on over the years. These men are here because they want to be here, not because they have to be,” Lord said.
“It is an absolute pleasure that he served within my department,” Costilow said. “It is very gratifying to hear, at the end of an absolutely horrific car accident or the worst fire you‘ve seen in 20 years, when a gentlemen of this stature places his hand on your shoulder and says ‘son you did a good job.”