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In Memory of...

  West Knox Volunteer Fire Rescue gratefully remembers the significant contribution and dedication of the following individuals. Their past efforts for our organization continue to be an inspiration to us today.
 

J. W. Hutson
Lum Detherage
Charles Ray Westbrook
Albert Matlock
Ernest Evoy
William Jaynes
Herbert Gaddis Sr.
Noble Olson
Frank Calia
Bobby Price
Earl Philpot
Ova McCowan
Ray Engle
Marvin Willis
Inez Evoy
Connell McCowan
Larry "Snake" Lockhart
Kelly Stewart
Scott "Tank" Ellison
Golden Blankenship
L. H. Gaddis Jr.
Phil Warren
Bonny Smith
Jack Willis
Jerry "Bear" Elliott
Fred Cox
Delbert Burke
 
  This list includes all members that we are aware of that have pasted on. If we have failed to include someone, Please let us know. Due to the number of volunteers we have had, we sometimes lose touch with past members. We would love to know if anyone has been omitted so we can correct it.
 Fire Department History
    
   West Knox Volunteer Fire Department was founded in January of 1962. The first meetings were mostly conducted at citizenís homes and at Lynn Camp School. In early 1962, members filed our Articles of Incorporation that formed our Fireman's Club. The West Knox Volunteer Fireman's Club members are the Board of Directors of the Fire Department. Members at that time of Incorporation included George Cox, Ewell B. Cline, Noble Olsen, William F. James, W. C. Daniels, James T. Ohler, Sam M. Campbell, Earl Parks, Elbert J. Caddell, Wm. J. Steele, Roy Engle, Calvin Smith, Ova Ray McCowan, Jack Taylor, Jack Willis, Eugene Helton, Fred Cox, Connell McCowan, George Hodge, Charles Westbrook, H. H. Gaddis, Albert Matlock & Ernest Engle.
    
   The first Chief of our department was Charles Ray Westbrook. The first President of our Fireman's Club was Connell McCowan. They started this Fire Department with a strong moral effort to help the community. Since the beginning, this Fire Department has put forth every effort to help, no matter what the call. And for those of you who wonder, Yes we have gotten cats from trees.  

   In mid 1962 we were able to lease land from the Knox County Board of Education. The lease price was an unheard of $1.00 for the first 20 years. Our Fire Station construction was soon started. In early 1963, we were able to move in and give West Knox Volunteer Fire Department a permanent home. The first new truck that was purchased was a 1962 Ford Pumper. Its cost was about $12,000. The same type truck today would cost around $250,000.

   We have been blessed from the start with quality people to manage the Fire Department. We have also been blessed with good neighbors that have helped support us for 50 years. And for those of you who have done that "We Thank You!"

   Several men and women from this community came together to help bring fire coverage to this area. They worked day and night, scraping by most of the time. Going door to door to bring in new members. Taking money from their own pockets to pay bills for the new Fire Department. Never asking for anything in return but the heart felt feeling of helping their neighbors. These things come natural to men and women who were mostly raised in this area and have a love for the community in which we all live.

     In 1998 we dedicated our Station 1 building to one of the founding members. Although all of the people that help start the Fire Department were people you would use to measure quality by. Connell McCowan was a special man. I am sure if you talked to the rest of the founding members, you would get no argument at all. So after the passing of this great man, we dedicated our Station 1 building in his name. Our Station 1 is now named the Connell McCowan Building.

  In 2003 we purchased a building in North Corbin. This building serves as our Laurel County based Station 2. In this station we house our newest Engine. It also has our physical fitness training room.