This Louisa fire agency is dissolving after volunteer numbers decline

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A lack of volunteers caused one Louisa County fire department to dissolve Monday.

The Zion Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department has been in the process of dissolving over the past few months, according to its president.

Van Fitzgerald, president of the department, said volunteer numbers have declined over the years.

“Unfortunately, our department dwindled down to enough members that we all had too many hats,” he said.

The volunteer fire department stopped operations this week and turned over all of their equipment and building to Louisa County Government.

Fitzgerald said Lake Anna Rescue received their new ambulance and the county has also repurposed their Old 7 truck to sell it. He added that their tanker, brush truck and everything they owned now belongs to the county.

Zion Crossroads is one of 11 volunteer fire stations in the county and it was founded in 1992.

The group supported full-time staff with large fires, car incidents and medical emergencies. The full-time staff still uses the Zion Crossroads fire department building.

“The department has been a blessing and a bit of a curse because it required so much time and energy,” said Fitzgerald. “But it’s like a brotherhood.”

At it’s height, Fitzgerald said the volunteer group was over 30 people strong when he joined a decade ago. Before it dissolved, the numbers dwindled to only five volunteers.

However, neighboring counties are facing the same volunteer shortage problem.

Despite the closure, he encourages volunteers to join local departments and said residents are still covered.

“It does not mean anything for the citizens as far as coverage because you are covered by career staff,” he said.

Fitzgerald has since joined Louisa County Rescue, but says there is always a need for volunteers.

He said most fire departments offer free training and require a commitment of 12 to 24 hours a month.

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