On a Friday night in 1962 around 100 community members had a meeting at the old Beaverdam School to talk about establishing a fire department with a four-mile district to protect North Hominy, Beaverdam, North Canton, and Thickety communities. The meeting went well and within a week there was a board of directors had been established, trustees elected, By-laws in place, so they applied to the North Carolina Secretary of State for incorporation. The North Canton United Volunteer Fire Department was established. The next big question was how to get funding for the equipment and how to staff the new department. The communities came together and through donations, bake sales, and tax money they raised enough money to buy a new 1963 American LaFrance Pumper that would pump 750 GPM and hold 500 gallons of water. They also acquired a converted tanker truck. In November of 1963 North Canton responded to its first structure fire. The only protective gear that was worn were hard hats due to the lack of funds.
Today the North Canton Fire Department is made up of 39 members and has expanded its coverage to a six-mile district. We serves approximately 4,500 community members. We now have 10 apparatuses: 3-engines, 2-tankers, 1-service truck, 1-brush trucks, a medical response truck, a chief’s vehicle, and a UTV. We have mutual aid agreements with six different departments across Haywood and Buncombe County.
All though we have better funding and equipment to do the job than the original group of North Canton Firemen we still have the same passion and drive to serve and protect the people in our community.
Pictured above are some of the founding members of North Canton Fire Department