Providence Volunteer Fire Department is located in Weddington, NC. The Town of Weddington is located 15 miles south of Uptown Charlotte and covers approximately 15 square miles and has a population of approximately 9,000. Providence VFD currently serves parts of Weddington as well as unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County not yet annexed by the City of Charlotte. We are a combination Volunteer/Paid department. We began daytime staffing in March of 2004 in order to supplement a lower number of volunteers available during the day due to full-time jobs. Our part-time paid staff provides coverage 7 days a week from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Providence VFD was founded in 1954 by then Chief Tom Grier and others who lived on the many farm lands that surrounded the area and had no fire protection. Local farmers and other residents pooled together their resources for mutual protection and incorporated the Providence VFD. Our first station was a small 2-bay station that sat on the corner of Providence Road and Providence Road West (now known as Ballantyne Commons Parkway). The apparatus consisted of one engine, one small tanker, one tractor-trailer tanker and a military surplus truck that served as a brush unit. The original station was occupied until 1970 when the needs of the department grew with the area that we served.
In 1972, we moved into a new 4-bay station at the intersection of McKee Road and Tilley Morris Road (now Charlotte FD Station #9). The new station had the bay space to accommodate a growing fleet and the larger, more efficient apparatus being built at the time. It also included a full kitchen for barbeque fund-raisers and a seating area used for training. In 1976, we purchased our first rescue vehicle. This allowed us to have a quicker response to fire and medical calls. In 1978, our members went through additional training for emergency medical care to allow us to treat those with medical emergencies or those who had been involved in motor vehicle accidents.
In 1985, we built a new station (that we still currently occupy) on Hemby Road inside Union County. This site allowed us to reach areas of our Union County district faster and provide better overall service to our community. The new station also included a larger classroom for training our members to the highest levels of competence. We also purchased a rescue vehicle with a variety of equipment including the “Jaws of Life” for extricating victims from motor vehicle accidents. This rescue vehicle is still in use by the department and is now designated as “Providence Rescue 32″
Since our inception, we have seen many changes in our fire district, expanded our services to meet an ever growing need and continue to look toward the future with optimism. Several years ago, we improved our ISO rating to a straight 6 thus saving homeowners in our district as much as $300 per year in insurance costs. Three years ago, we took delivery of a 3,000 gallon Red Diamond Tanker allowing us to have water support in neighborhoods without fire hydrants.
Pride has always been a major component of the culture at Providence VFD and the dedicated men and women of our department work hard to anticipate and surpass the needs of the local community. In October of 2004, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with an open house at our station and held a recognition dinner at Firethorne Country Club for past and current members. This anniversary celebration reminded our members how far Providence VFD has come over the past half-century and inspired the active members to work hard to ensure that our department continues to thrive as we look forward.