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Two VFDs to join next month

Two volunteer fire departments will combine in October, which should improve fire protection and lower some Pearl River County residents’ fire insurance premiums.

The Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department and the Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department are set to combine on October 1, said Emergency Management Director and Fire Services Coordinator Danny Manley.

The Henleyfield department has 30 volunteers, while the Crossroads department has had more trouble recruiting volunteers—putting a large amount of work on a small number of people.

Combining the two departments should improve fire protection by increasing the number of firefighters who arrive on a scene, said Manley.

The process to combine the departments has been ongoing for the last year.
The Crossroads department has a great facility and equipment, while the Henleyfield department is very focused on medical and excited to recruit and train new people, said Manley.

The Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department has a class seven rating and the Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department has a class nine rating. By combining the departments, the class nine rating will drop to a class seven rating, which should significantly reduce the cost of fire insurance for the residents within the Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department’s district.

The last step in the process involves the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors drawing up an order and approving it.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter in the county can contact a department’s fire chief or they can contact Manley at 601-273-1394.