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Firefighters in retirement help keep Tellico Village safe

The average age of a firefighter with the Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department is 68 years old.

Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT

TELLICO VILLAGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At the Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department, it’s more likely than not that the person who responds to the call for help is in their 60s. The average age of a firefighter at this department is 68, and everyo

ne lives in the 11-mile stretch which is Tellico Village.

“Some days you move a little bit slower but our saying in the special ops is you can rest when you’re dead so that’s how we look at it here,” said Lieutenant Brad Ward who works for TVVFD.

With 35 volunteers in the department, there are a total of five knee replacement surgeries and two hip replacement surgeries. Although older than the average firefighter by 30 years, this group is proving that age is just a number. Their response time is two minutes faster than the national average, which they’re able to do by always having supplies packed at home so when they get a call they’re able to go right where they need to.

“We’re normally at their front door in about three and a half minutes when the call comes in,” said Chief Jerry Dougherty.

The department is made up almost entirely of people who are retired but still want to contribute to the community they call home.

Chief Dougherty said the only thing they at times struggle with physically is operating the hose which carries hundreds of pounds of force when operating. Although a challenge, they’re able to do it by staying in shape and working together.

This volunteer department is almost entirely funded by donations from Tellico Village. If you’d like to learn more about volunteering or donating you can head to their website. Copyright 2023 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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