Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department dedicated an ambulance in memory of lifetime member Allen Lofits.

The fire department recently purchased the ambulance that is fully equipped to be an ALS transport unit with the goal in mind to work with other transport agencies and departments in an effort to reduce the extended response time to the calls in our rural areas.

“It’s a fantastic addition to our department, we are excited about it,” Hudson said. “We anticipate this ambulance to be very helpful in helping us to serve our community.”

This project has been in the works for more than eight months. The ambulance purchased was used from Laurel Grove Volunteer Fire and Rescue in Sutherlin.

The new unit is a 2001 Ford F350 Wheeled Coach and will be their Unit 708.

The Cluster Springs Fire Department has never had an ambulance, as the closest ones are just over nine miles away in the town of South Boston and Turbeville.

As the department gets started in this new adventure, the department will have to rely solely on volunteer help. Volunteers are becoming hard to find in this day and time, according to Hudson, but the department has had to rely on other fire departments and agencies to assist with EMS calls.

Hudson adds that the fire department would not have to “wait on mutual aid, or other departments with an ambulance to come and assist.

“If you’re in need of immediate medical attention, it makes a difference,” Hudson said. “Our long-term goal is the have paid EMS staffing in house around the clock 365 days a year.”

As of Dec. 5, 2019, CSFD has had 245 calls for service. Roughly 88% of calls for service are EMS calls. As a completely volunteer fire department, CSFD has been blessed to cover roughly 70% of all the calls.

The Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department is always accepting applications to join the Department and Support Team.

The Support Team is designed to help fire department members at fundraiser events and to hold fundraisers to raise funds to purchase new equipment to keep the department operating.

Persons interested in volunteering for either of the teams can message the department for details

The dedication took place at the Cluster Springs Fire Department. Loftis was a lifetime member of the fire department.

“His involvement at Cluster Springs VFD was crucial to many changes over the years and his advice was always given with the department’s best interests in mind,” Hudson concluded.

Loftis passed away on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019.

In addition to being a lifetime member of the fire department, Loftis was a member of Virginia National Guard and a member of Black Walnut Baptist Church.