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Almost like clockwork, the precision of quick response to a fire call, you could count on members of the Shiloh-Zion Volunteer Fire Department to be in our neighborhood. They were selling tickets for their annual barbecue chicken fundraiser, which they hold the first Saturday in February. They’ve been doing so for 35 years.
Prior to writing a feature in our “Always on Call” series, that was the most I knew of the volunteer fire department, which serves our Arrowood neighborhood and others in north Lancaster County.
Through several interviews, I learned about a dedicated department, which was created because a home in the community burned to the ground.
No lives were lost that memorable day, but from the reaction to those ashes rose a volunteer fire department determined to serve and protect its neighbors.
Since its inception, there have been two buildings, four chiefs and Lancaster Fire Chief Chris Nunnery is a Shiloh-Zion alum, where he served seven years, two as assistant chief.
Twice monthly the department meets at their newest station, including one meeting devoted solely to all-important training. The chief is John Rollins, whose service numbers 37 years, more than 20 as chief. He is an example of the department, which has had its share of dedicated family members through the years who have answered the call.
The department numbers 15 members, which, ironically, is the same number of people who showed up for the first meeting to organize.
Not long afterward, the department held its first fundraiser, a ham supper at old Shiloh School.
Fundraisers have been a major part of Shiloh-Unity’s legacy, but it’s more than that. Much more. This series of stories has told us of the common thread, which runs through all the volunteer departments, “it’s in their blood.”