Tunstall Fire & Rescue, was originally chartered in April 1961 as the Bachelors Hall Voluntary Fire Department, when 90 men came together to provide fire protection to the communities of Bachelors Hall, Brosville, Mount Cross, Tunstall and Westover. In August 1961, a request was made to change the name in the charter to the Tunstall District Volunteer Fire Department.
August 1962- The Tunstall District Volunteer Fire Department was chartered.
Our first Fire Chief was Kermit Law, and Tommy Thompson was the Department Major.
A 14 member board of directors was created to govern the department. It consisted of members of each community. Their job was to obtain and impartially place equipment. Their aim was to provide the maximum amount of protection to the community at the least cost.
Combined, these men built three stations:
Westover, located on Westover Drive.
Brosville, located on Rt. 58 West.
Sharon, located on Mount Cross Rd., in the old Mize Store.
It was said that because of their locations, response time was 4-8 minutes anywhere in the response area.
These stations housed a total of 6 pieces of apparatus. Firemen were trained in firefighting, rescue and survival work. They manned phones in their homes 24 hours a day, to take calls for help.
Firemen and one of their trucks from the Brosville Station.
Eventually the stations broke away from each other, for various reasons. New stations were also formed in the Mount Cross and Bachelors Hall communities.
Station #1, continued (eventually in a different building) for years as the Westover Vol. Fire Dept., until the City of Danville annexed the area. They relocated and became the Riverbend Vol. Fire Dept., protecting a lost corner of Pittsylvania County that is surrounded by Danville City and the Dan River.
Station #2 still stands today as the Brosville Vol. Fire Dept.
Our station, #3, dropped the Sharon Station name, and retained the original name of the organization, Tunstall Volunteer Fire Department. Our very first piece of apparatus owned by our station can be seen in the Antique Page.
1973 – A brand new 2 bay station is built, located just 2 doors up from where the old Sharon Station used to be located. This is where we are located today. Apparatus consisted of a 1969 tanker and another unknown year tanker.
1978 – We purchased brand new pumper which is still in service today as F257.
1979 – Tunstall Fire Department was instrumental in helping citizens and members to form our “sister department”, Callands Fire & Rescue
1988 – We purchased a Chevrolet van from C & P telephone. This was used to transport personnel and equipment to and from fires. In 1990 it became our first responder vehicle. Its designation was F258
1990 – We took on the challenges and rewards of EMS and became a first responder agency in order to better serve the emergency medical needs of our community. The closest rescue squad was 30 miles away, at our furthest service point, and at times over an hour away if busy. Being first responders meant faster medical treatment, however we still realized the need for a closer rescue squad.
1991 – We added another apparatus bay and a large meeting room and office to the existing station.
1992 – We purchased a used E-One mini pumper for use as a first responder vehicle. This unit eventually became our crash truck when we became a rescue squad. It’s designation was F255.
1994 – We added 4 new apparatus bays onto the existing building in preparation for becoming a rescue squad.
1995 – We met the community’s needs for a closer rescue squad, and became an ALS transporting agency, with the purchase of R251. At the time, we were the 6th rescue squad and the 2nd fire dept. in our county to provide such services. It was at this time, we changed out charter to reflect our new name, Tunstall Fire & Rescue.
1997 – We purchased a used type II ambulance from the Gretna Rescue Squad as a reserve ambulance. It’s designation was R252.
1997 – We purchased a brand new Freightliner / E-One Pumper, F251.
1997 – Firefighter William Sam Bradner III is lost in the line of duty. Please see our Last Alarm page.
1998 – We purchased a used Ford Brush Truck, F254
2000 – We purchased a brand new ambulance, R252
2000 – We re-modeled the downstairs area including the kitchen and the bathrooms.
2002 – We purchased a brand new Freightliner / E-One Pumper, F253. With crash/rescue compartments, this truck will become our new crash truck, replacing the aging F255. Please keep checking back for more pictures of this new truck!
2005 – We moved forward on plans to take our department into a new era with a new fire station. Land was purchased and initial “rough plans” were thought up.
2006 – Purchased a new Freightliner Tanker and gave it the designation F252.
2007 – New building construction started on a 3+ acre tract of land located at the intersection of Tunstall High Rd. & Sportsman Rd., beside Tunstall High School.
June 2008 – We officially moved into and began running calls out of our brand new fire station on Sunday June 22, 2008. We led an apparatus parade from our old station to the new one to commemorate our move.
2010 – Received a Polaris 800 EVI 6×6 for hard to reach fires/patients. Also added an enclosed trailer for rescue equipment.
2012 – Purchased a Ford F-550 Utility/BLS vehicle and designated it R259
2015 – Purchased a new AEV TraumaHawk and designated it R252.
Today, Tunstall Fire & Rescue proudly provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services to 6000 people living in an area of about 45 square miles. Our department is consists of 55 active devoted men and women from our community, helping serve our family, friends and neighbors, 24 hrs a day. The department is headed by Chief Kenneth Hudson, a 40+ year veteran, who has served as chief for the past 20+ years.
Currently, we operate out of one 8 bay station located approximately 8 miles outside of the Danville City limits in Pittsylvania County, in the Tunstall Magisterial District. This area was named for The Honorable Whitmell P. Tunstall, who was a lawyer and a long-time member of the Virginia legislature.
In the future…We are constantly striving to obtain the finest equipment, training and personnel to serve our community. Additionally, we are currently building for the future to ensure our members and apparatus are even more ready to serve and protect. We are still calling on all members of the commmunity and those who own land or businesses here to please help us reach our goal for our building project fund. Please consider a donation to our organization. We could save your life someday!
Tunstall volunteers answer in the neighborhood of 600 emergency calls each year. In addition, volunteers stand by at many high school sporting events and provide demonstrations for local schools and churches. We also provide fire & health safety inspections upon request. We are 100% volunteer. We do it because we care about the community we live in.