Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department reaches milestone
In July, the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department reached a significant milestone in their history as they were able to pay off a United States Department of Agriculture loan from December 2003. At that time, the department had been awarded a USDA Rural Development grant for 55% of the cost of constructing an addition to the original 1972 building with the additional 45% secured by a USDA loan for $72,400.00, plus interest.
Noting that some folks in the community had expressed concern that the SQVFD would never be able to repay the loan, Fire Chief Jeffrey Stotesberry ecstatically described how thrilled they were to have been able to repay the loan in full and ahead of schedule: “We could not have done this without our many supporters. We’ve held hundreds of fundraisers, we’ve had generous donations and other support from the community which has made this day possible.”
Reading a hand-written transcript of the history of the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department, one would be amazed to see the progress this small volunteer department has made in the past 49 years. Many of the charter members are still alive and, although they may not go out and fight fires as they once did, their continued support is still evident in other ways.
The SQVFD is currently exploring the possibility of a new substation to be located near the intersection of US 264 and NC 94 in the Lake Comfort area of Hyde County. A feasibility study indicates the cost to be +/- $1.2 million. The substation would have its own dedicated equipment and personnel. The benefits to the Hyde community would be a reduction to the insurance policies of homeowners in that vicinity as well as a significant reduction in response time to calls east of Swan Quarter as well as mutual aid calls to Engelhard and Fairfield volunteer departments.
The SQVFD was established in 1971 by a group of citizens who were concerned with providing an organized fire safety presence for the community. Since that time, their area of operation has expanded, as has the level of services they provide. Today they operate with nineteen unpaid volunteers who provide not only fire incident response, but also first responder service for medical emergencies. They also work with the Hyde County Schools to provide fire safety awareness to the youth of the community. They are a recognized nonprofit entity by the Internal Revenue Service and donations to the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department are tax deductible to the extent allowed by Law. Visit them at https://www.facebook.com/Swan-Quarter-VFD-104335134460420.