Welcome to the Joplin, Arkansas, Volunteer Fire Department web site. 

Through these pages, we hope to introduce you to our Department, our mission, and our activities.

Recent Articles About JVFD Activities:

Arkansas Fire Boat School to be held June 3-4, 2016

Volunteers from the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department will again participate in the annual Arkansas Fire Boat School training and exercises to be held on Lake DeGray June 3 and 4, 2016.

Below is the announcement from the Arkansas Fire Boat School Committee:

Good afternoon Crews,

Please find three important messages for participating crews below, as well as a list of confirmed crews, and an updated AFBS Briefing Packet attached w/scenario maps at DeGray Lake and the Caddo River.

1) Remember that you must register through the Arkansas Fire Academy (AFA) separately from registering for AFBS in order to receive AFA credit. We have confirmed with the AFA that more than 100 of you have registered for AFBS and not the AFA. Copy and paste the link below to complete forms for your AFA credit:

2) Attention Small Boat Crews: Please include basic medical supplies among your equipment to bring for AFBS, 2016. Small boat scenarios at the Caddo River site and DeGray Lake site will include response to a medical scene with injuries.

3) All Boat Crews: Please pay special attention to the Mandatory Equipment list in the attached Briefing Packet.  You will need to arrive at Registration at the Spillway Launch Ramp on Friday, June 3rd fully prepared for scenarios.

The following 43 fire crews have confirmed boats and/or people to attend AFBS, 2016 (if you are not listed here and you should be, please let us know immediately): Alexander, Bismarck, Caddo Valley, Conway, East Clark County, Faulkner County Emergency Squad, Flower Mound (TX), Gamaliel, Haskell, Heber Springs, Houston, Hot Springs, Joplin, Johnson County RFD #5, Lake Hamilton, Lake Maumelle, Lake Norrell, Lake Village, Lawrence County Dive Team, Little River County, Little Rock, Lonsdale, Maddox Bay, Malvern, McGehee, MEMS, Monticello, Murfreesboro, North Little Rock, Pocahontas, Salem, Scott, South Fork, Strawberry, Tactical Rescue Services, Traskwood, Wilburn, Winchester, West Plains (MO), West Pulaski, Van Buren County Rescue, and Yell County Dive Team.

Have a great evening and thank you,

Arkansas Fire Boat School Committee

Dinner and briefing meeting at the Arkansas Fire Boat School

Dinner and briefing meeting at the Arkansas Fire Boat School

Drafting and Foam Training – March 29, 2016

This evening’s Joplin Volunteer Fire Department training exercises consisted of:

  • Setting up the 4000 gallon portable tank off of Tanker 3
  • Supplying water to the tanker from the station’s hydrant
  • Drafting from the tank with both Engine 1 and Engine 4
  • Fitting the hoses with foam eductors
Preparing Engines 1 and 4 to draft from the portable tank.

Preparing Engines 1 and 4 to draft from the portable tank.
(Click on this image to view more photos from this exercise.)

Good practice!

(Thanks to Mary Ann Shaw for the photos!)

“Prom Night” in Mount Ida – March 29, 2016

Every two years, the Mount Ida Volunteer Fire Department, with help from Joplin VFD, local law enforcement, the County Coroner, and others execute a simulation of what horrible accidents may happen to students and others who may indulge in drink or drugs on “Prom Night” (or any other night).

Responders attending to a "Prom Night" accident victim.

Responders attending to a “Prom Night” accident victim.
(Click on this image to view additional photos from “Prom Night”)

The simulation makes junior and senior class students aware of how different emergency personnel respond to and treat serious injury and even death in the event of an accident.

A Great Fundraiser on a Chilly and Rainy Evening – Nov. 28, 2015

The Joplin Volunteer Fire Department held our annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction Fundraiser at the JVFD Firehouse on a chilly and rainy night, and we were tremendously pleased with the wonderful crowd who joined us and supported our mission this evening.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

Many, many thanks to the wonderful crowd that joined and supported us this evening!<br />(Click on this image to view photographs from this event)

Many, many thanks to the wonderful crowd that joined and supported us this evening!
(Click on this image to view photographs from this event)

Pulling the ’47 For Maintenance and Cleaning – June 16, 2015

In lieu of our regular fire meeting Tuesday, June 16, 2015, a crew of JVFD volunteers, along with many other helpers, met at the Mountain Harbor launching ramp to pull the ’47 onto a very large, very strong trailer and to pull it from the lake for its first inspections and cleaning in many years.

The '47 is on the trailer and all looks good to complete the haul-out.

The ’47 is on the trailer and all looks good to complete the haul-out.
(Click on this image to view more pictures from the ’47 haul-out operation on June 16, 2015.)

The trailer was prepared with a number of old tires on both sides of its length in order to hold the boat high enough to prevent its rudders, propellers and shafts, and struts from dragging or being damaged on the trailer.

Once the trailer was in the water, the boat was expertly driven onto the trailer by JVFD volunteer Lisa Ligon, and a line from its bow passed ashore by JVFD volunteer Vicki Crawford was secured by friend of JVFD Joe Scheaffer to the trailer.  Then, Alan Jones driving the truck pulling the trailer moved her up the ramp a very few feet at a time while JVFD Assistant Chief Terry Beavers dove both sides of the boat to make sure it was straight on the trailer and that its under-structure was lining up on the trailer as desired. After forward/aft adjustments were made, the trailer and boat was inched up a bit further while Terry continued to observe its alignment.  One adjustment was made laterally by Joplin Boat 4, driven by JVFD volunteer Dan Watson.  Boat 4 was positioned on the starboard side and pushed the stern of the ’47 slightly toward port.

Once everything was looking good and straight, the boat was pulled from the Lake four feet at a time, stopping to make sure all was good as she came out of the water and settled onto the trailer.  Finally, she was out of the water and moved forward to a level part of the ramp.

Then, the rain came!  … and came!  … and came!

Not to be deterred by the pouring rain, the crew set up a hot water pressure washer and a second pressure washer to begin cleaning the bottom, while mechanics Joe Beniche, Kevin McNiece, Alan Jones, and others began the inspection process.  Water was supplied via the fire pump on JVFD’s Boat 1, driven and managed by JVFD Captain Jennifer Brewer.

Other JVFD volunteers involved in the operation included Bob and Tera Bochik, David Kimball, Ian McNiece, Bill Barnes, Bunnie Lester, Mary Ann Shaw, Todd Gadberry, and Robert Herrington.

After all inspections were complete and the bottom was cleaned, the ’47 was relaunched without incident.  The whole operation was well-planned and well-executed.

But, we could have done without the rain!

Relay Pump Training With Brush Trucks – Mar. 3, 2015

Training this evening involved setting up relay pumping with water being supplied directly to Engine 3 from Tanker 1, while Engine 3 supplied water from its pump to one of two brush trucks.

Engine 3 is pulling water from Tanker 1 while supplying water to Brush Truck 1 in a water relay exercise on the Mountain Harbor boat ramp.

Engine 3 is pulling water from Tanker 1 while supplying water to Brush Truck 1 in a water relay exercise on the Mountain Harbor boat ramp.
(Click on this image to view more photos from tonight’s training exercise.)


2015 Arkansas Fireboat School Scheduled for May 29-30

Greetings all and Happy New Year!

We hope that January finds you all safe, warm, and well!

We hope to begin helping you plan early for the upcoming 12th annual Arkansas Fire Boat School, 2015 event on DeGray Lake May 29-30. Please find preliminary announcements below, a Mandatory Equipment List attached for reference, and expect training event registration forms to be distributed by mid-February.

The agenda will be similar to previous years. Please begin plans to bring your boats and crews on Friday afternoon, May 29th. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will conduct boat and mandatory equipment inspections at the Spillway Launch Ramp at DeGray Lake beginning at 11 a.m. Arkansas Forestry Commission will also be there verifying boat tags (looking for Federal AG numbers, as well as AFC boat tag numbers).

After inspections are complete, you can register crews and receive all event materials at the main Incident Command area before checking into rooms in Caddo Valley.

Friday evening dinner and scenario briefings will again take place at the Clark County Emergency Management Center in Gum Springs (a 10-minute trip up the Interstate from IC at DeGray).

The Quality Inn has contacted the Fire Boat Committee and will again be offering excellent rates to attending crews (this hotel is always the first to call and offer special discounts for this event). Those rooms will go fast. Remember when you call for lodging arrangements, to remind receptionists that you’re with Arkansas Fire Boat School crews.

Call the Quality Inn to reserve rooms for Friday night, May 29th at $49 nightly at: 870-230-1506

Other Caddo Valley hotels include:

  • Days Inn:  (870) 246-3031
  • Best Western Hotel:  (870) 246-5592
  • Comfort Inn:  (870) 246-3800
  • Super 8 Motel:  (870) 246-8585

Look to receive details, scenario outlines, and more course information from this address (arkansasfireboats@gmail.com) very soon.

As mentioned above, registration information will be circulated by mid-February.

We look forward to another great event at DeGray Lake!

Everyone stay safe out there,

Arkansas Fire Boat Committee

Annual JVFD Spaghetti Dinner and Auction Fundraiser – Nov. 29, 2014

The 2014 Joplin Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser, consisting of a fine spaghetti dinner followed by an auction of many donated items, was held as is traditional on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the JVFD Firehouse.

We had a terrific crowd again this year who all came with healthy appetites for food and fun, and in his role as auctioneer, Ricky Lee led the auction.

This yearly event is the Department’s most important source of operating funds for the year, and we truly do appreciate the generosity and spirit of our community for your participation.

Thank you!

A great crowd lines up for spaghetti and all the great stuff that goes with it!

A great crowd lines up for spaghetti and all the great stuff that goes with it!
(Click on this photo to see more images from the fundraiser.)

Tanker Refill Training – September 16, 2014

Today’s training consisted of practicing tanker refill operations in preparation for upcoming ISO testing.

For this exercise, we brought Engine 4 and Engine 3 to the Mountain Harbor launching ramp, positioned parallel to the shore, so that the main suction from either engine could be rigged to draft from Lake Ouachita.  We then positioned Tanker 1 and Tanker 2 above the engine on the ramp where we could dump their load of water down the ramp and then refill each via the discharges on an engine.

Refilling tankers from Lake Ouachita.  Here, Engine 4 drafts from the lake and supplies two fill lines to Tanker 2.

Refilling tankers from Lake Ouachita. Here, Engine 4 drafts from the lake and supplies two fill lines to Tanker 2.
(Click on this image to view more photos from this exercise)

We repeated the exercise with both Joplin’s Engine 4 and Engine 3.  While Engine 3, with its smaller and older pump, could not fill as quickly as Engine 4, it was still effective.

Fill times with Engine 4 feeding two discharges to a single tanker were between 2.5 and 3 minutes, with a single discharge time of about twice that.  Engine 3’s times were only about a minute longer. We were able to effectively fill two tankers at a time with a single fill line to each.

We were filling with the engines running near idle due to the shallow water in which the pickup was placed.  Speeding up the pumps would create a vortex at the pickup that could eventually cause a pump to lose prime.  Drafting from deeper water would potentially allow shorter fill times by being able to run the pumps faster, although even at idle, the fill lines were hard from the pressure.

Keys to the exercise:

  • The pickup suction lines from the engines to the lake must be tight so that no air is allowed into the lines between the pickup in the lake and the input on the engine, or priming can be a problem
  • Engine 4 does not have a valve on its suction intake, so connecting the pickup line to the engine allows the engine’s tank to be dumped, making priming harder.  However, for this exercise, the engine primed quickly.
  • Engine 3 does have a valve on its suction input connection, so after connecting the inputs, the valve can be opened as the pump is engaged.
  • The speed of the pump with respect to drafting from the lake is a function of the depth of the input.  If the input is in shallow water, pulling water too fast can create a vortex that will allow the pump to lose prime.
  • Engine 4, with its larger pump, could certainly supply more water via additional discharges to multiple tankers simultaneously.
  • Quick connects on the fill lines to the tankers are the berries!
  • During exercises or during an actual event, always remain aware of your surroundings.  In this case, Terry pointed out that standing directly behind a heavy tanker filling on an incline (the boat ramp) was dangerous in that should the tanker lose its brakes and jump the scotch, there would be no stopping it.