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Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue honors longtime member

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Jane Crawford

Longtime Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department volunteer Jane Crawford stands beside the new sign of the training center named in her honor.

The Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department recently recognized the service of its longest serving member by renaming the former fire station in her honor.

The Jane Crawford Training Center was dedicated Nov. 29 with a new sign outside the building. The training center is just behind the fire and rescue station.

“It surprised the hell out of me,” Crawford said of the dedication. Members of the department gathered outside the training center for her arrival on Nov. 29. “I was emotional to think that they would honor me like that.”

The training center has seen several upgrades and modifications since the early days of it being a fire station. It was converted into a training center for the department in 2003 and has seen several modifications in the years since.

The Scruggs department originally started as a division of the Burnt Chimney Volunteer Fire Department. It officially became its own department in 1975, just a few years after Smith Mountain Lake reached full pond in 1966.

Crawford and her husband V.T. “Slim” Crawford were some of the original founders of the department. Slim served as chief of the department for 41 years before stepping down in 2014 and giving the position to his assistant chief at the time, Dempsey Moore, who continues to serve as chief today.

Slim Crawford died in 2019 at the age of 77.

“I’ve done everything I could to honor her and Slim,” Moore said of the decision to rename the training center. He said both Jane and Slim were a significant help to him when he moved to the area in 1997 from West Virginia.

The dedication of the training center in Jane Crawford’s name is fitting for the longtime firefighter. She has served as captain of the fire department for more than 30 years as well as an adjunct instructor for Virginia who, according to her best guess, has taught hundreds of firefighters in the training center now renamed for her.

At the age of 82, Crawford said she has no plans to give it up anytime soon. She admitted to being a bit slower recently, but expects a knee surgery next month will help her mobility.

“I love it,” Crawford said of firefighting. “I’m very proud to be a member.”

Crawford isn’t taking it easy when responding to calls. She currently serves as a safety officer looking after volunteers on the scenes of fires or other incidents such as vehicle crashes.

Moore said members of the department don’t want to see her go anytime soon either. He plans to do everything in his power to keep her in the station as long as possible.

“She’s a staple of this department and that’s the way it’s gonna stay,” Moore said.

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