Johnsons Crossing VFD celebrates 40 years with appreciation day

Andrew Cryer

JOHNSONS CROSSING – The Johnsons Crossing Volunteer Fire Department (JCVFD) celebrated their 40th year of service Saturday by holding their annual Appreciation Day. The celebration lasted from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., with free refreshments for the close to 100 people in attendance. The DownSouth Band provided live entertainment.

There was never a dull moment, with children running around either dunking Fire Chief Mark Reeves into cold water, bouncing around, going through an obstacle course to be rewarded by going down a slide, or exploring the fire engines set up for display. Adults were enjoying themselves, too, staying cool near a cool-off station, chatting with friends and listening to the live music.

“We’ve been preparing for a year especially over the course of the last few months, meeting on a weekly basis, trying to get everything together,” said Candy Reeves, secretary and treasurer of the JCVFD, who feels that “this is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community and it’s our way of giving back to the community,” as she noted that everything ranging from bouncy houses to live music entertainment was free and donated. 

The wife of Fire Chief Mark Reeves, Candy Reeves is also a volunteer firefighter and EMT. Both she and her husband were honored by the Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments by receiving the Sherry Garner Memorial and 2016 Firefighter of the Year Awards this year, topping off the department’s impressive history of receiving statewide recognition. The department’s competitive team has won an award every year since 1996 in competitions all over the state of Alabama. 

Tonya Banks, volunteer firefighter, was assisting with food preparation. She has been with the department for seven years and saw first-hand how strong the bond is between the men and women of the JCVFD in the aftermath of the 2011 tornadoes when their station was destroyed. “It was a mess. The reconstruction took a year to complete and in that time we had nothing to put our trucks in, but we all stuck together with what we had.”   She went on to say that the department hasn’t grown much in her time volunteering, which follows the national trend of needing more firefighters, especially women. “A woman can handle it. It’s fun, but a little tough; you always have your brothers and sisters out there that will help you.”

The JCVFD would like to thank everyone who has donated either money or their time and effort to the department, especially Valley Heating and Cooling of Cullman, for their large donation to the station that helped make Saturday’s event possible.


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