While some volunteer fire departments are having to cut back on services due to budget cuts and high gas prices, one department in Pike County is expanding its services.
At Millard Fire Department Station Number 4, officials say through a lease agreement with the Corp of Engineers they are able to expand their services to the community.
In the agreement, officials with the Millard Volunteer Fire Department say the Corp. of Engineers leased out this home located a little more then a mile from Fish Trap Lake.
In return, fire officials agreed to expand their fire and rescue services as well as keep the grounds clean. The department also receives a percent of the profits generated from camper fees. Millard’s Fire Chief Glen Adkins says the deal keeps the department above water despite budget cuts and high oil prices.
“Budget cuts have been a real problem throughout the last year as everyone knows. We have been lucky that we'd have saved CD's in the past,” says Adkins.
Because the station is just minutes from Fish Trap, Millard's Fire Chief says the station can get to those in danger faster.
“It helps out real good where we have an eight man dive team and being this close to the lake,” says Adkins.
People we talked to say they find comfort knowing if something happens, the department is right around the corner.
“It is really helpful for them to be right then and there,” says Ashley Bartley, a Fish Trap Lake visitor.
“Very important. They come in with me and help me back in. Very, very, good people,” says Mike Thacker, a camper.
Now officials with the Millard Fire Department say they still have to deal with budget cuts like most volunteer fire departments, but they say this lease agreement definitely helps out.
Millard Fire Department officials say they have responded to 20 calls since the station opened in April.