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The Centerville Fire & Rescue Company is one of six volunteer fire stations serving the 290 square miles of Goochland County in central Virginia.
The present day Goochland County Department of Fire-Rescue, began it's life back in 1951. On a cold October night in 1951, around 3 am Mr. Gilbert Moore was driving past the Dover Baptist Church when he noticed flames in the windows. With no telephone service nearby, Mr. Moore drove to the nearby Village of Manakin and gathered all his neighbors to help. When the City of Richmond Fire Department was contact they sent a fire engine as quickly as they could to help. Mr. Ned Willis would bring, from his collection at this farm, some antique fire equipment to attempt to save the church. Although the efforts of those neighbors were honorable, the church ended up as a total loss.
In 1952, under the direction of newly appointed Chief Ned Willis, the Dover-Pembroke Fire Department Volunteer Association was born. Originally the department would operate a 1920 American LaFrance Engine donated by Chief Willis. A second piece of equipment was then purchased from Chief Willis' collection, a John Bean high pressure fog unit that carried 450 gallons of water. This original station of the Dover-Pembroke Fire Department Volunteer Association would become Manakin Company #1.
A few years later, in 1954 residents of the Centerville area decided that there was need to have a fire station closer than the Manakin station. So it began, the Centerville Volunteer Fire Company #3 was born. Local people who felt the need to help others, this tradition is still alive today at Centerville Co. #3.
In 1958, those same neighbors, along with new ones to our area, made the decision that the Centerville Volunteer Fire Department needed to be able to do more. With the purchase of a Cheverolet Carry All van, the Centerville Volunteer Rescue Squad was born.
- Justin Weinmann
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