|The West Lexington Fire Department was formed on September 27, 1954 by a group of 120 residents in the community. The department became incorporated in January of 1955. The first fire department was built in 1955 with an investment of $6000 in cash for the department and truck along with thousands of dollars in labor and materials being donated. The first firefighters did not have badges, helmets or turnout gear. Members who wanted badges had to buy them on their own. Instead of wearing turnout gear the firefighters wore raincoats.
|The first fire truck was a used 1942 Ford purchased for $1050.00. Members held fish fry’s in order to raise money. At times the firefighters would have to pass the hat in order to put gas in the truck. Over the past 46 years the fire department has seen many changes. Now we have four engines and a QRV used for medical assist. The current fire department was constructed in 1975. Now the fire department not only provides fire protection but also provides medical assistance with many of the members being certified at the EMT level or higher. The department began staffing one firefighter from 8a-5p everyday in 1999, allowing an even quicker response during normal working hours. On May 1, 2001, the department began staffing two personnel from 8a-5p everyday. The department also began responding to medical calls, with the added benefit of an AED. In July 2002, the department purchased a complete set of Hurst rescue tools, including air bags for vehicle accidents. The department also purchased a Thermal Imaging Camera for firefighters to use while searching for victims or hidden fire during structure fires. In 2006, West Lexington Fire Department became West Lexington Fire & Rescue. The department obtained light rescue and medical responder certification through the NC Association of Rescue and EMS. This now allows the department to provide light rescue services as well as the fire and medical responder services that we already provided to the citizens of the West Lexington community. The department has since increased its rescue capabilities and obtained medium rescue certification through NC Association of Rescue and EMS.
Since 2005 the department has received federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters grant program allowing us to update several pieces of our equipment including SCBA, Nozzles, Supply hose, pagers and portable radios. The acquisition of the equipment would not have been possible without the Assistance to Firefighters grant program funded through FEMA. The department has also received grant funding through the NC Office of State Fire Marshal which has allowed us to purchase updated turnout gear, a thermal imaging camera and several other pieces of fire and rescue equipment.
Beginning September 1, 2012 our department began staffing one Firefighter/EMT 24 hours a day. We also hired our first full-time employee who began working September 1, 2012.