Sistersville Volunteer Fire Chief Jason Wayne
Jason Wayne has been Fire Chief for the Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department since 2015. The biggest reward of being a volunteer, Wayne says, is knowing that you are helping the community. “Without the community, we wouldn’t be here, and giving back to the community, the place that I call home, is all the reward I need. It’s not something I would do for money; I couldn’t see myself getting a check for it.”
He said his ultimate goal was going from Fireman to Fire Chief. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the support of the members of this department. It doesn’t take just the chief to run the department, it takes everybody, and we here strive to push that; it’s not ‘I’, it’s ‘We.’ I didn’t do this, we did.” There are a total of 35 members, including 26 active firefighters; auxillary and support members make up the rest of the department.
Fundraisers are important to the department as a source of income, but have been put on hold due to Covid-19; however, there are plans to start them again soon. Over the last few years, they were able to replace all seven fire trucks and construct a storage building. They are hoping to add on to the existing building and extend the parking lot when the funds are available.
Chief Wayne mentioned that the department is always open for applications, whether it be for a firefighter position or a support member. The initial training required to respond include fire, hazmat, first aid and CPR, with additional training for the positions of Officer, Lieutenant, and Captain. Junior applications start at age 16, which include classes and training, but no firefighting.
At age 18, junior members can move up as senior members and begin responding. “Even if you’re 18 and older and have no firefighting experience, we provide the training.” He also said they pay for any classes that would benefit the fire department. Their meetings are held the first Monday of every month, unless it’s a holiday, when it’s pushed to the following Monday.
We want to thank Chief Wayne for all he has done for the department and the community, and we wish him the best.