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Fire Chief Paul Hogan
Fire Chief Paul Hogan

Hickerson Station
Volunteer Fire Dept.
Fire Hall
4373 Old Manchester Hwy
Manchester, TN 37355
(931) 455-0058
Hickerson Station
Volunteer Fire Station
care of Paul Hogan
4274 New Manchester Hwy
Tullahoma, TN, 37388

Hickerson Station Vol. FD Stems from Vehicle Fire
RITA BAUER, Staff Writer,for The Tullahoma News

    It was a simple car fire on a country road back in 1977 that prompted rural residents of Coffee County between Tullahoma and Manchester to get together and work on building a fire department.

    A volunteer fire department in Summitville was closest to the scene of that car fire, and people took uncomfortable notice of the time it took for them to get there.
    Community meetings were held at Hickerson Elementary School; area residents Owen and Winnell Pittenger donated a stretch of land on Old Manchester Highway, and the first Hickerson Station Volunteer Department fire hall was built. More than 20 years later, through continued community efforts and support, Hickerson Station No. 2 was added behind Jones Elementary School in Coffee County.

Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Station
Sept. 11th, 2001
    From the very beginning, community service and support have been what the Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department is all about, Fire Chief Paul Hogan says. "We thank the community for their support," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't be anything. This department, this fire hall, belongs to them. "It's common for homecomings, family reunions and wedding receptions to be held at the Hickerson Fire Station.

    Twenty men volunteer as firefighters on the Hickerson department, covering a wide area of Coffee County that reaches to the edge of the Manchester and Tullahoma city limits, and includes the Coffee County portion of Normandy. Like most volunteer departments, the budget is tight and the equipment does the job but is nothing fancy. The annual allotment of $26,000 from the county budget is hardly enough to pay the volunteer department's building, vehicle and liability insurance, or cover fuel and electricity costs, according to Chief Hogan. The rest of revenue needed for department operations must come from the firefighters themselves through fundraisers.

    In July, about 1,200 people gathered at the hall for a taste of some of the finest barbecue around, personally prepared by Hickerson volunteer firefighters as one of their biggest yearly fund-raisers. This year's barbecue brought in between $5,000-$6,000, Hogan said.

    "We're in the process of updating equipment and our protective gear now. Some of our trucks are pretty old. We have a 1974 pumper and our tanker is a 1982 or 1984 model. We're also in the process of getting another tanker truck for Station No. 2 which, used, would cost between $20,000 and $60,000. A new tanker would cost over $120,000," he said.

The Hickerson department currently utilizes two pumper trucks and one tanker at Station No. 1, and a pumper and one mini pumper at Station No. 2.

    Updating the equipment would improve the fire department's State ISO (Insurance Services Organization) rating, which at 9 is the lowest quality rating issued by state inspectors. "We're in the process of trying to improve (the ISO rating). It'll take a lot of hard work, long hours and the updating of equipment...If someone in the community wanted to donate some money toward the purchase of new equipment it'd be greatly appreciated," Chief Hogan said.

    The firefighters, after all, are donating their time. They monitor emergency radios at home and constantly carry pagers. "You almost have to be crazy to do it - get up at all hours of the night, in the cold, the rain, the snow, whatever. You put everything into it and don't get anything back. But once it gets in your blood, it's hard to get it out,' Hogan said. "All of our firefighters are on call 24 hours a day if their jobs let them. And we have an automatic mutual aid agreement with three other volunteer departments - Hillsboro, New Union and Summitville. "If one of us has a structure fire, we automatically roll; we don't need to be called. And Coffee County Ambulance Service rolls with us on every structure fire. "We all work together. If the city departments call and need us, we go to them; and they're very nice about helping us if we need them. We enjoy the good working relationship we have with the city departments," Hogan said. And of course, Hogan says, firefighters do more than just fight fires.
    "We save the county a lot of tax money and man hours. We help in the community, like in the ice storm awhile back, we were out cutting trees out of the road and things like that. Firefighting is not all we do," he said. Volunteer firefighters are also required to participate in monthly training programs, according to Hogan. And the Hickerson department has been lucky, with no reports of major injuries, he added.

    Hogan, who has been the Hickerson Volunteer Fire Chief since the department originated in 1977, is also a farmer and holds a full-time job as a Coffee County Circuit Court officer. He says he'll continue to be a volunteer firefighter as long as he is able, thanks to the fact that his children are grown and his wife is supportive.

"Lots of times she doesn't even know I'm gone (to a fire during the night) until I'm back. She helps out with all the fund-raisers and stuff," Hogan said.

"Anytime you're called out it's scary. Every fire is not the same, you never know what's going to happen...Coffee County is pretty well covered as far as fire protection goes. We are always there, always ready," Chief Hogan said.

From a newspaper clipping from the Tullahoma newspaper:Hickerson Station Fire Unit Formed
The new volunteer fire department at Hickerson Station community, located between Manchester and Tullahoma. The department has a $9000 fire engine and two survival breathing units, costing $500 each. The engine housed at Tullahoma Freight Co. has had $3000 of equipment added to it Coffee County has given the department $5000 for its operation and the department has borrowed $12,000 to purchase the engine and additional equipment.
They were the Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department. A very nice lady Mrs. Pittenger donated 1 acre of land to build a two-bay station.
Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department
Our First Volunteers's

from left:, front row, Bill Brown, Curtis Millaway,
2nd row, Danny Davis, Albert Whitmire, Glenn W. Dillehay, Bob Guy (my dad), Harold Daniel, Ken Pippenger and Ray Whitmire,
3rd row, Paul Hogan Fire Chief, &; Kenneth Millaway Assistant Chief.

   Coffee County gave them a E-One mini pumper. With equipment donated by the surrounding city departments they were ready. The county sent them to classes and before you knew it they were fighting their own fires, and aiding the cities around them.

Station Under Construction

Station Under Construction

My Dad in the engine

First Engine

E-One Mini Pumper

E-One Mini Pumper

Newest Engine

Newest Engine


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