History of Idlewild


Before there was an Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department, The Oakhurst Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1952 and began operations from a location near what is now Oakhurst Elementary School (right) under the leadership of Chief R. W. McManus.  In 1957 the department constructed a new fire station Monroe Rd near Sharon Amity Rd (above), a building now occupied by Plaza Appliance Mart.  When the Oakhurst department ceased operations, the equipment was donated to start the Idlewild department and many of the former Oakhurst volunteers also moved to Idlewild to provide leadership for the new organization.


1969, delivery of new Command Tower pumper that later moved to Idlewild.  Pictured L to R:

Jimmy Stutts, Ken Patterson, Bill Soule, Danny Waddell, Dicky Parks and (in front) Ernie Ward and Hugh McRorie


The Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1975 to provide improved protection for the then-unincorporated area between Matthews and Mint Hill.  Although legally a new organization, the Idlewild department inherited the legacy of the Oakhurst Volunteer Fire Department which ceased operations that same year due to annexations by the City of Charlotte.  The picture on the right shows original station accepting delivery of Engine 1 in 1989.


Today most of the Idlewild response area lies within the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill and the department operates under contracts with both towns as well as with Mecklenburg County.  The original fire station at 10241 Idlewild Rd (above) continues to serve the department, although it has undergone a series of expansions and renovations over the years.  The station has recently been remodeled with living quarters for 8 firefighters and 2 officers.  With these new accommodations, Idlewild volunteers have been able to  provide coverage for our response area around the clock with all the comforts of home (below)
In 1981, the Idlewild and Mint Hill departments undertook an initiative to improve the fire insurance rating for the two fire districts.  That effort lead to an improvement from Class 9 to Class 6 which has resulted in significant savings to property owners in reduced fire insurance premiums over the years. 


In 1991, the Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department took on the additional role of medical first responder.  In this capacity the department responds with emergency medical technicians, along with MEDIC or Mint Hill Ambulance Service, to medical emergencies in the response area.
In recent years, Idlewild has seen its share of adverse weather conditions which affected electrical, water and heating utilities.   A natural gas-powered 100 Kilowatt electric generator (right) was installed in 2002 to enable our department to be used as an emergency shelter for our community in times of extreme weather conditions or natural disaster.  We wish to thank the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill for their generosity and support in the purchase of this generator.