Fire Station 4 - Birch Street
|Station 4 Apparatus
In service since the founding of the department in 1883, Station 4 was originally located at the foot of Sixth Street at the intersection of Commerce Street. This station is sometimes referred to as the Sixth Street Bridge Station. Following the formation of the department, Engine 4 began its life as a hose wagon and remained this way for sometime.
During the recession of the mid-1890's, the Fire Department suffered greatly from budget cutbacks and in 1894, the department decided that it would have to close Station 4 and lay off its seven employees. This closure was somewhat short-lived for in December 1895, the department re-opened the station and placed Engine 4 back in service with the laid-off employees. To date this is the only occasion in which there has ever been a personnel lay-off or closure of any station.
During the early 1900s, Lynchburg began expanding westward. With the formation of the Rivermont Company, the city started to grow in a westerly direction. This new area of town was connected to downtown by a narrow bridge spanning Blackwater Creek. Although this bridge did provide access to the Rivermont section of town, the sheer weight of the steamers prevented a quick response to this area of town. With the development of Rivermont, the need for adequate fire protection soon became an issue that the city and the Fire Department would have to address. In 1905, the Fire Department answered this need with the building and opening of Station 5 located in the 1200 block of Rivermont Avenue. With this addition came the formation of Engine Company 5. Engine 4 would remain at its current location for several more years until the department closed the 6th street station and moved Engine 4 to Rivermont. When Engine 4 was moved to Rivermont, the station was re-numbered as Station 4. Interestingly enough, the building, which had two engine bays, also had two addresses. Engine 4 was housed at 1210 Rivermont Avenue and Engine 5 was housed at 1212 Rivermont Avenue. Engine 5 would remain at the Rivermont station until 1971 when it was re-located to the new Station 5 in Boonsboro.
Following the annexation that took place in 1976, the department placed an 8th and 9th Engine Company in service. Engine 9 was first placed in service at station 4 in 1976. Engine 9 remained here until it was re-located to station 6 in 1981.
Throughout the years the station on Rivermont Avenue served the department well, but over the years the station deteriorated to the point that it desperately needed to be replaced. In 1991 after several years of planning, the department replaced Station 4. Based on a modified floor plan of Station 8, Station 4 is currently the home to Engine 4, Medic 4, Truck 3, the Dive Team Trailer, and a Polaris Mule.