Record Turnout For Ringgold VFD Fundraiser

The Ringgold VFD had a record turnout for its annual brisket dinner this weekend. Officials said around 200 people showed up for the fundraising event. Officials say they collected about $4,500.

Ringgold VFD is raising funds for their new fire station and continued operating expenses.

Newschannel 6 crews walked through the Ringgold fire station and the old brick building had leaks and lots of  cracks. When we spoke with the fire chief Newschannel 6 found out the station only has two doors. That makes it very difficult to get  four fire trucks in and out.

An old mechanic shop built in the 30's does not make for a very convenient fire station. The Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department has humbly made the place home for almost 10 years now.

Fire Chief Jack Simpson says, "We have to back three trucks in the one door and it gets to be a problem cause if we happen to bump a wall we could lose the whole building."

The roof leaks, there are cracks in the walls, and Fire Chief Jack Simpson's says the Ringgold VFD cannot even get insurance because structural damage is so bad. So their making changes and working to get a new building.

The Chief adds, "We've been working on raising money slowly for the last several years to have enough to get the structure up. At least get it to where we can move and get in it. We're going to have to continually raise money to finish all the insides for everything."

Money and time is an issue, but that will not stop the Ringgold firefighters. The entire project is all going to be done by them and community volunteers.    
Chief Simpson's comments, "We're ready to put the frame work up. We were going to put it up a week or so ago and we got called to go to a fire. We spent all day at the fire and the next day trying to make sure everything was fixed."

But despite how much the new station is needed Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department says the project will never be their first priority. Public safety always comes first.

Johnny Reynolds, President of the Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department says, "We are never going to sacrifice keeping the trucks ready to roll even if it prolongs getting the building finished. Our priorities are the trucks have to be ready to roll."

Ringgold Fire Chief, Jack Simpson says getting a new fire station is another way the volunteer fire department can help the community. He is thrilled he has the support of the entire community.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6