Since its incorporation as a non-profit organization in 1985, the Arkansas Rural & Volunteer Firefighters Association has worked to unify firefighters and emergency responders throughout the state and to support legislation that benefits rural and volunteer firefighters and fire departments.
Charter members of ARVFA were Lloyd Prater, Loren Hollaway, Stewart Willey, Harold Curtis, Allen Merritt, J.V. Lawson, and LeAnne Davidson.
The organization works in conjunction with the Arkansas Fire Protection Service Board, the Arkansas Association of Fire Chiefs, the Arkansas State Firefighters Association and the Arkansas Professional Firefighters Association to determine regulations and requirements for fire departments and matters related to the training of fire services personnel in Arkansas. Four members of the Arkansas Rural & Volunteer Firefighters Association are appointed to serve on the Arkansas Fire Protection Services Board.
Each year, ARVFA holds an annual meeting for members that includes as needed training sessions, appreciation ARVFA awards, a FREE appreciation meal, updates on legislation affecting rural & volunteer fire departments, and networking opportunities for firefighters and emergency responders throughout the state. The location might change annually or take place centrally in Arkansas to allow local fire departments the opportunity to attend the event.