Between the two of them, Sammy Dutton and Jimmy “Bullet” Hudgins have devoted a century’s worth of service to the Mathews Volunteer Fire Department.
Hudgins joined the Mathews Station when he was only 19 years old and Dutton joined the Cobbs Creek Station when he was in his early twenties. Both became volunteers because the stations were in need of new faces.
“They needed young people,” said Dutton.
Throughout their years of service, Dutton and Hudgins have seen a lot of positive changes.
When they first started at the department, they would use World War II canisters to breathe through for fresh air when fighting a fire. In the 1980s, the department switched to using Scott Air-Paks.
They have also seen improvements in communication, buildings and equipment. According to Dutton, all of the stations are equipped with trucks that have good-sized tanks. This is beneficial because all of the stations have to carry their own water to fight fires because of the lack of fire h...
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