Vienna VFD’s Scholl praises fire service to FOP

Photo Provided Steve Scholl, left, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department chief, and Raymond Pyles, president, Fraternal Order of Police Associates Blennerhassett Lodge No. 3.

VIENNA — “We are very blessed in Wood County to have the fire protection that is available,” said Steve Scholl, chief of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

Scholl was the guest speaker at the recent meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates Blennerhassett Lodge No. 3.

“We have 11 departments in Wood County, 10 of them are volunteer and the department in Parkersburg is the paid career department,” Scholl said. “The departments in this area get along with mutual agreements. Everybody works with everybody else, including the various police departments; we are very blessed,” Scholl said.

“The recent IEI fire which involved 30 some fire departments from multiple counties in West Virginia and Ohio, with over 300 firemen, proves our ability to work together,” Scholl said.

Scholl, who has been a member of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department for 42 years, has served as the Vienna fire chief for the past five years.

“Funding for the Parkersburg Fire Department comes from the City of Parkersburg. We in Vienna are really blessed because we are funded by the City of Vienna and the fire fee which was recently enacted,” Scholl said.

All 10 volunteer fire departments receive a share of this fee. “That’s really been a blessing for the majority of the volunteer fire departments in Wood County,” Scholl said.

“You can’t have enough soup bean and cornbread dinners to buy a $400,000 fire truck,” Scholl said. “With the fire fee, all 10 volunteer fire departments receive a base allotment of $80,000 with additional funding available for needs of larger fire departments,” Scholl said.

Additionally, annually the 400 plus volunteer fire departments throughout the state receive one-fourth of one percent from homeowner fire fees collected, Scholl said.

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department has one fundraiser a year, the ice cream social, which has been successful in raising funds.

In 2016, the City of Vienna purchased a 107-foot aerial truck for $850,000 just for the truck. With the purchase of equipment needed for the truck, the total amount for the truck was over $1 million, Scholl said.

“The better equipped your fire department, the lower your insurance rates may be. We have some of the best firefighting equipment in the state,” Scholl said.

Scholl pointed out that the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department does not respond to medical calls; the department has responded to 435 calls this year, which involve car wrecks, alarms and fires.

“The City of Vienna gives us our needs; we are truly blessed,” Scholl said.