16 January 1957

A group of citizens in the Sunbury community of Sunbury met at Sunbury School. The Ruritan Club was sponsoring the Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department. They had raised $330.00 and another group of citizens had raised $204.00, for a total of $534.00. This money was to be used to pay for a fire truck which had been purchased from Melfa Virginia for $750.00. Officers consisting of Fire Chief (Frank Pierce), Assistant Fire Chief (Noah Hurdle), Secretary (Bruce Milam) and Treasurer (Bill Ward) were elected for the first year. Twenty-seven citizens signed up to become members of the Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department.

18 February 1957

A used oil tanker was purchased from Socony-Mobile Oil Company of Norfolk Virginia to be converted to haul water at a cost of $400.00. Land for a fire station was donated by Mrs. L. A. Rountree.

18 March 1957

The department was incorporated with the State of North Carolina as Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department, Incorporated. The Gates County Board of Commissioners reported they had received budgets totaling $6,500.00 from the three fire departments in the county, Gatesville VFD, Gates VFD and Sunbury VFD. In order to raise this amount, it will take an increase of 8 cents per $100.00 valuation over the present rate. At this time, the Commissioners could not afford the full responsibility of three fire departments in the county. A motion was made to ask the County Commissioners for a $1500.00 donation for fire protection. This was the same amount that was already being given to Gatesville VFD for the same protection. This motion also included that the Board of Directors were to go back to the County Commissioners and ask for a 5 cents per $100.00 valuation tax increase to be levied and the monies received be split among the three fire departments in the county.

25 November 1957

Board of Directors agreed to allow the department to borrow the money needed to buy helmets ($14) and coats ($15.75) for all 18 members.

16 March 1959

The department reported to the Board of Directors they would like to pursue an insurance rating of 9A, which would lower insurance rates in the community from $0.72 per $100.00 valuation to $0.48. This equated to a reduction of 34%. To obtain this rating the department would have to buy a new truck, which could only be done by asking the county for an additional $0.05 on $100 valuation.

13 July 1959

The Fire Chief reported to the Board of Directors an estimate for a new pumper from Howe, which included a truck at cost from Byrum Motor Company in Sunbury, of $11,594.00. Once notified it would take Howe 70 working days to complete the truck which would carry a 5 year warranty.

28 March 1960

First mention of training; the Chief reported that some of the firemen attended a fire school in Ahoskie, and won a prize for their attendance!

20 March 1961

Fire Chief reported they had obtained a 9A fire rating.

Check back later for more history…


Department Fire Chief History

1957 – 1969: Frank Pierce

1969 – 1979: Willard Hofler

1979 – 1986: Bobby Spivey

1986 – 2008: J. S. Pierce

2008 – Current: Keith Modlin