As a third generation firefighter, the job comes easy to Madison Phelps. And while being the only paid employee of the Greensville County Fire Department might seem like an imposing responsibility, Phelps says it doesn’t feel much like a task at all.
“I just enjoy doing it,” Phelps said. “Firefighting doesn’t feel like work.”
Only 25 years old, Phelps is a lifelong resident of Greensville County. His father and grandfather both worked for GCFD – a tradition Phelps is proud to carry on.
Phelps’ duties include the maintenance and upkeep of all safety equipment and GCFD vehicles, managing volunteers and keeping up with administrative paperwork.
Every year, GCFD is involved in a number of large events in the City of Emporia and the County itself. GCFD fire trucks and emergency support vehicles can be seen in parade during the Virginia Peanut Festival and the annual Christmas Parade, where Santa Claus can be found atop a bright GCFD truck.
Last year, Phelps says GCFD responded to just shy of 400 calls.
“Some calls take hours, some take 15 minutes,” Phelps said.
Currently, GCFD has about 60 volunteer firefighters in rotation, Phelps says. Fortunately, recruiting has never been a hardship for the department.
“We’ve been lucky in the past,” Phelps said. “People see us going up and down the road, at a school or at an event and come in and ask questions about getting involved.”