Salute to first responders: Loxley Fire Department

Staff report
Posted 2/9/18

LOXLEY, Alabama — The Loxley Volunteer Fire Department has 19 adult members and is always in need of more, said Deputy Chief Ed Vaughn.

“We’re always in need of volunteers,” Vaughn said, …

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Salute to first responders: Loxley Fire Department

Posted

LOXLEY, Alabama — The Loxley Volunteer Fire Department has 19 adult members and is always in need of more, said Deputy Chief Ed Vaughn.

“We’re always in need of volunteers,” Vaughn said, “I think it’s like that for all the departments in Baldwin County, not just ours. It seems like all of our volunteers are really young, or they are older. We have the hardest time keeping recruits.”

Vaughn, who has served with the department since 1981, is also retired as Loxley’s chief of police. Loxley’s current Fire Chief Tony Lovell, also serves as chief investigator with the Loxley Police Department.

On average, Vaughn said, the Department responds to about 25 to 30 calls per month. In 2017, the Department responded to 314 calls. Only a small percentage of those calls, about 11 percent, Vaughn said, were actual structure fires.

In 2017, 40 percent of the department’s calls were responding to traffic accidents with another 22 percent medical assistance calls.

Loxley’s primary responsibility includes most of the Loxley corporate limits with some shared jurisdiction between Styx River, Stapleton, Spanish Fort and Daphne fire departments. Loxley also participates in an automatic aid program with Stapleton, Robertsdale, Belforest and Silverhill, meaning that when there is a call in any of those fire districts, all of those departments are automatically called in to help.

The department originally started in 1964 and, as with most departments in Baldwin County, is staffed completely by volunteers.

In addition to Lovell and Vaughn, Gavin Fell serves as battalion chief and the department includes three lieutenants, Will Ervin, Josh Odom and C.J. Amerson.

The main fire station, located at 1501 Railroad St., was built in 1997, includes two pumper engines, a quint ladder truck, a service truck, a firefighter transport vehicle, a reserve pumper, an RTV vehicle set up to fight forest fires, two command vehicles, and a brush truck.

A second fire station is located outside the gate at Steelwood subdivision. This station is a three-bay facility that holds a fire engine, service truck and a brush truck.

“One of the things I’m proudest of is our equipment,” Vaughn said. “It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last 30 years and that’s due in no small part to an ad velorem tax passed by the State Legislature. There was a time that our budget was whatever we could scrape up by selling pancake breakfasts and that type of thing. The ad velorem tax made a huge difference in how we run our department.”

In addition to funding through the ad velorum tax, Vaughn said, the department sells hamburgers and sausage dogs every year at the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival as a fundraiser.

The department’s Ladies Auxiliary, along with the Loxley Church of God, hosts the annual Loxley Easter Egg Hunt and the department is involved in the Loxley Christmas Parade.

If you would like to learn more, visit the fire station or call 251-964-5696.