By Paul Keane
The Wayne County News
Rufus Landrum, the long-time leader of the Wayne County Volunteer Fire Department, died Saturday night at his residence following a short pulmonary illness.
Landrum had led the all-volunteer force for nearly 20 years, both as Fire Chief and Fire Coordinator. He helped bring stations together as one unit and ended up getting the lowest fire ratings possible for a rural, volunteer fire department in three of the four fire districts in Wayne County.
Those ratings were recently confirmed again recently, and Landrum at the time said the only way to get the ratings lower would be to hire paid firemen in the selected stations. Lower fire ratings have helped local homeowners save thousands of dollars in homeowners insurance over the years.
He was a proponent of training for all staff members, constantly bringing in free or low-cost training for members of each station. He also oversaw the building of numerous new stations throughout the county.
Under his guidance, the VFD formed a partnership and alliance with the Waynesboro Fire Department that built strong ties and mutual assistance between the two entities. He also developed numerous memorandums of understanding with surrounding fire departments and other emergency agencies.
In addition to his firefighting duties, he also served as an EMS with Wayne General Hospital. In both roles, he worked to help develop stronger emergency response throughout the county.
Funeral arrangements were pending and not available at this time.