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June Volunteer Spotlight
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By Associate Member Jessica Harlow
June 30, 2018

This month we sat down with Firefighter and Chaplain Barry Jacobs to ask him a few questions about being a member of OVFC.

Barry grew up in Orange and has been a member of OVFC for 43 years. He lives in Orange with his wife, Marsha. They have 2 children, Whit, who is also an OVFC member, and Carrie, along with 3 grandchildren. After retiring from North Anna Power Plant, he went to work for his brother at Salvagewrights, a local business that specializes in historical preservation and salvaging antique building materials. Barry enjoys hunting, traveling, camping, working in their yard, and being with his grandchildren.

1. Why did you join OVFC?
"I joined the fire company because my dad was a member. I got to see how much he enjoyed it and thought it would be great to follow in his footsteps. Later on, I realized that this was a great way to give back to such a wonderful community."

2. What is one piece of advice you have for new members?
"Train all you can. New ideas and strategies are always on the horizon and it is important to learn and train with those you serve with. One day it could save your life or someone else's."

3. What is something you’d like the community to know about OVFC.
"Orange Volunteer Fire Company is a group of dedicated individuals who are willing to help others at a minute's notice. They give of their time to serve the people of Orange and surrounding areas. Orange firefighters train to be ready and are provided with the best equipment available to protect life and property."

4. While a lot of the time the primary focus is on the firefighters who are running the calls, their families and the sacrifices they make are often over looked. We took a minute to sit down with Barry's wife, Marsha and asked her; What is it like to have a husband as a volunteer firefighter?

"As a spouse to a volunteer firefighter, there are heart racing times when you hear the dispatcher sound the tones for a fire call and my spouse says "get in the car". I am literally shoved into the car, holding on for my life as a passenger, with red dash lights flashing. He races past cars on the street as they swiftly move out of our way while responding. We arrive safely at the firehouse but only he responds. I watch my spouse and the many other volunteers race to their gear lockers with commitment. They quickly dress into their gear, jump into their boots, and methodically prepare the trucks to respond to the fire calls. After the heart racing ride to the firehouse, there is a moment of pride in watching these volunteers board the trucks, sirens blaring, red lights flashing, and knowing each volunteer is doing what they love as they pull out from the fire station.

Yes, there are sleepless nights listening to the scanner, conversations and dinners interrupted with dispatched tones, planned activities missed, and lots of smelly smoke-stained clothes. I learned a long time ago that white bath towels are "off limits" when he showers after a smoky, smelly fire.
There are moments of sadness when he returns after a fatality and loss that hits close to home. There were times when he would come home after responding to a fire call and go straight to our children to give them a hug. These fire calls are reminders of the commitment and strength that is required to be a firefighter.

Being a spouse to a volunteer firefighter has always been a commitment and priority. It may not always be convenient nor smell the best. It does come with sirens blaring, red flashing lights, heart racing excitement, love, and pride."


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Orange Volunteer Fire Company
P.O. Box 367
205 Caroline St.
Orange, VA 22960
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