Tina Savell, fire chief of the Longino VFD, and Danny Griffin, fire chief at the Dixon VFD, stand in front of the new pumpers their departments have purchased.
Tina Savell, fire chief of the Longino VFD, and Danny Griffin, fire chief at the Dixon VFD, stand in front of the new pumpers their departments have purchased.
The Longino and Dixon volunteer fire departments are making room in their stations for the new pumper trucks each received through the county, a state grant and a lot of hard work.

Prior to receiving the trucks, Longino’s newest truck was a 2002 while Dixon’s was a 2004. The new trucks will go a long way toward helping both departments keep their fire rating.

Longino’s truck cost $264,093, and Dixon’s truck cost $276,838. Both departments put up $50,000 for the truck.

Longino received a $90,000 grant from the state’s Rural Fire Truck Acquisition  Assistance program while Dixon received a $70,000 grant from the Supplemental Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance program. 

Both fire departments have pledged their funds from the county fire fund and rebates for the next five years, to complete the payments.

The fire chiefs of the two departments are veteran firefighters  and are very pleased to have the trucks.

“It took a lot of saving and a hard work to make this happen, said Longino fire chief Tina Savell. “We had enough money and were able to spec it out like we wanted.”

Savell has been a member of the fire department for 25 years and has been the chief for 13 years. She works for the Neshoba County EMS.

There are 25 members of the department, including her daughters, Karla and Jessica.

Danny Griffin has been the fire chief at Dixon for four or five years. He has been a volunteer firefighter for the past 27 years.

“It took a lot of work to get to the point where we could buy the truck,” Griffin said. “But with the help of our supervisors and our board of commissioners, we were able to finally do it.

Griffin said Dixon currently has 10 active members. There are others who come when the can.

“When I am not at work, I go on all the calls,” Griffin said. “Sometimes, we’ll have two or three calls in one week and then we won’t have a call for two weeks. Then we’ll have three calls on the same day. You just never know.”

People may not realize it but the volunteer fire departments answer medical calls as well as fire calls.

“I would say 50 percent of our runs are medical calls,” said Savell. “The rest are structure fires, grass fires and wrecks. You never know what to expect..”

Both remembered how they became involved as a volunteer firefighters.

“The chief at the time came to the house and told me he wanted me to join the fire department and I did,” said Griffin. “I am trained to be an EMT. Our assistant chief just finished school to be a paramedic. I have seen a lot of things over the years. It is very serious work.”

Savell said she found her calling in life through the work. “I came upon a wreck,” she said. “I was able to help the people and make a difference. I found my calling.”

She is around emergency work quite a bit. “I have lived in my community all of my life,’ Savell said. “Sometimes I miss holidays and special meals because of my work but I like to help people so it’s OK.”

Logino and Dixon are among 10 other departments in Neshoba County that have evolved over the last three decades. In the early 80s there was a converted gasoline truck based in town answering all calls for the entire county.

Today, the county’s fire network consists of 12 fire protection districts with more than 20 stations and 300 volunteer firefighters and emergency responders.

Since 1993 The Neshoba County Fire Service in cooperation with each district has purchased 17 new class A Fire Trucks to provide protection to the citizens of Neshoba County.

The districts are:

• Countyline

• House

• Hope

• Linwood

• Dixon

• Tucker

• Fairview

• Arlington

• East Neshoba

• Stallo

• Longino

• Northbend

Both chiefs said they are in need of more volunteers. Anyone interested should go by a fire station or call Neshoba County Emergency Management at 601-656-3121.