Front Royal, VA
wind: 2mph ENE
H 63 • L 59
On February 12, 1954, a group of community-minded citizens met and organized the Rivermont Community Center, Inc. The purpose of this organization was to achieve a better community through group cooperation. Ray Heskett was elected President.
Five acres was donated to the Community Center by Hayward Hendrix. Initially there was a baseball diamond and a picnic area with tables on the property.
In the Spring of 1954, Ray Heskett wrote a letter to the Front Royal Fire Department, requesting that a fire truck, which they were planning to give to some nearby community, be donated instead to the Rivermont Community Center. Mr. Heskettsaid, “If you see fit to give it to us, we would organize the Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department as soon as possible. I feel sure we could have an active membership of at least 25 men and could take care of this community and vicinity, and of course would assist the Front Royal Fire Department at any time we would be called upon to do so.” Included among those charter members were Edward Sealock, Herbert Menefee, Wilson J. Burke, Sr., Arthur Burke, and of course, Ray Heskett.
On Thursday, August 19, 1954, at a meeting on the grounds of the Rivermont Community Center, the gift of Truck No. 1, of Relief Fire Department of Front Royal, was accepted in an official presentation. Chief Frank A. Stoutameyer presented the key to “Old Faithful”, a 1929 American LaFrance pumper, to Ray Heskett. Chief Stoutameyer extended an offer of full cooperation of the Front Royal Fire Department with the newly formed fire company, of which Richard H. Callis had been elected Chief. The fire truck was housed in Hillard Stokes’ garage because there was not yet a building to house it.
In September 1954, Don Moyer sketched the proposed Community Center building, a 32’ by 60’ two story structure. The first story was erected around late 1955 by members of the Community Center.
In 1966, a 1937 American LaFrance ladder truck was purchased from the Front Royal Fire Department. Ray Heskett, assisted by other members of Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department, cut the truck in half, removed six feet from truck’s frame, removed all but one of the ladders, installed a tank and pump, and the truck was used for a pumper/tanker.
Eventually this truck, and a 1952 GMC pumper, which was donated to the Fire Department by Dunn Loring Fire Department, were sold. In 1971, a 1949 American LaFrance pumper was purchased, and was just recently retired.
It was not until 1976 that the second story was completed, by members of the Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department.
The Department currently operates four pieces of equipment: a 2009 KME Predator Custom Chassis Rescue Pumper, a 1991 KME Custom Tanker, a 2006 Ford F250 Brush Truck, and a 2012 Ford F550 Advanced Life Support-equipped Ambulance.
Rivermont Volunteer Fire Department operated normally until 2016, when the Social Hall was condemned, and brace supports were erected to support a collapsing rear wall in the apparatus bays. In late 2016 Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue removed career personnel from the Rivermont Volunteer Fire Station due to safety concerns. In 2019, while overhauling the bunk rooms, mold was discovered in the walls. After professional assessments of the building, a major mold remediation project was completed. During this time, construction began on the new Rivermont Fire Station. Minor repairs were completed on the roof and in the bays of the old station to get us through until the new station opened.
In late 2020, the last calls were run from the 714 Rivermont Drive Fire Station, and it was marked out of service. The new Rivermont Fire Station at 50 Stokes Airport Road was placed in service. This station is capable of housing 12 personnel, including 2 career personnel from Warren County Fire and Rescue. Our volunteer organization currently stands at approximately 17 members.