Fire truck named for Varnell Beaty
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
Mar 27, 2014 | 823 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Varnell Beaty is surrounded by family and friends at the Eureka fire station as one of the trucks is named in his honor for his service to the county’s fire department.  Banner photo, BRIAN GRAVES
Varnell Beaty is surrounded by family and friends at the Eureka fire station as one of the trucks is named in his honor for his service to the county’s fire department. Banner photo, BRIAN GRAVES
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Varnell Beaty has long been connected with the Bradley County Fire-Rescue station on Eureka Road.

He was the first chief there and helped deliver the first working truck to be used in the community.

As of Tuesday, one of the trucks which services the community will now roll into service bearing his name.

A dedication ceremony was held at the station with many of Beaty’s friends, family and colleagues at the department filling the station as the letters on the truck bearing his name were unveiled.

Beaty became involved with the department in the 1980s, but had to give up firefighting after heart surgery in 1996.

Despite that setback, he has always been there to support and help the department in any way he can.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said Beaty’s tribute was long overdue.

He recalled Beaty’s role in establishing the county’s volunteer fire department.

“Our goal at that time was having volunteer service in every community,” Davis said. “We put a challenge out to those who wanted to organize, and Eureka was one of them. Mr. Beaty was very much involved way back in those years. This honor was long in the waiting, but this is a good thing.”

Beaty helped to organize and coordinate the fundraiser which helped buy the station’s first truck.

Commissioner and Fire Board member Ed Elkins called Beaty “a great community leader and very instrumental in getting this station organized.”

Battalion Commander Tyson Ratcliff recalled when Beaty and his wife would bring food to the station for those who were serving.

“We couldn’t wait to see them coming, because we knew it would be good eating for us,” Ratcliff said.

He added those who serve at the station are excited by the dedication of the truck.

“It will be an honor to drive this truck with your name on it,” Ratcliff said.

Beaty noted several instances where having the station there has saved property.

“I hope you don’t have to use it,” Beaty said. “But if you do, it’s there.”