Located in Etowah, North Carolina the Etowah-Horse Shoe Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Inc. is contracted by the County of Henderson to provide fire protection and first responder medical services to the residents of our district. We are funded by tax dollars as determined by the County Commissioners. The current rate is .08 (cents) per $100 of property value.
Offically started in 1964 by a group of concerned citizens, the department has grown and prospered due to hard work, dedication, and rapid population growth. As of March 2016, the department has a total membership of 42 volunteers and 8 paid staff. The department operates a fleet of 21 trucks, 1 Kawasaki mule, and 2 boats out of 4 stations.
The Department has improved it's Department Of Insurance rating on 4 occasions. The initial rating in 1964 was 9AA. In 1983-1984 after hundreds of exhaustive hours spent preparing, the insurance rating was lowered to Class 5. We were told at the time we were the first all volunteer department in the state of North Carolina to obtain this rating! In 2003-2004 after yet again untold exhaustive hours of preparation, the rating was lowered to the current Class 4. In 2015-2016 after countless hours by our paid staff, volunteers, and mutual aid departments, we have achieved a NC Department of Insurance rating of Class 3. Locally this puts us in the same rank with the City of Asheville and Skyland fire departments. These "Class" ratings are a key component that insurance companies use to determine the cost for residential and commercial insurance policies. The difference property owners in our district save when compared to our initial 9AA rating runs well into the millions of dollars!
In our first year of operation, the Department responded to 8 calls/alarms. In 2015, we responded to 949 calls/alarms.
The Department also provides many other services in addition to fire protection and medical response. We have a very active fire prevention and safety program. Assistance is provided to the North Carolina Highway Patrol at motor vehicle accidents and the North Carolina Forest Service. Many individual services are provided to the residents of the district, such as severe weather assistance, burning large brush piles, health and welfare checks, smoke detector installation, and many other services.