Local Fire Department Not Responding

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Dozens of people gathered at the Mayking Fire Department to let board members know they want their fire department back.

Magistrate Roland Craft says, "I was notified Saturday night that they were paged out to a fire and wouldn't respond."

"When it becomes a public safety hazard, then that gets us involved," says Judge Executive Jim Ward. He says the fiscal court decided to suspend the department's funding until the attorney general investigates.

"We've got to figure out what's going on and that the money is being spent appropriately, anytime you use county funds, the money needs to be spent appropriately," says Ward.

Board members did not let the public inside for Wednesday's private meeting, but say there is a reason for their lack of service.

David Chafin, a board member with the fire department says, "There is a problem with the paging system. I was informed tonight that several of the firemen do not get their pages regularly."

The fire department's board moved fire trucks to this old service station to make room for bingo 4 nights a week. "It's necessity. A lot of people don't like the fact that we play bingo here, but it's our only way of making money," says Chafin.

Richard Craft with the Mayking Neighborhood Watch says, "We just want a fire department that would be for the community and be here when we need them, answering 911 calls or whatever the community needs, be here for us."

Constable Craft says the lack of response is raising the area's fire insurance. David Chafin says the board is holding a public meeting next Tuesday. County officials say they are also planning a public forum to discuss the future of the fire department.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by former letcher countian Location: ky on Jan 24, 2009 at 01:56 PM
    Hey, isn't 911 suppose to call the department or page anyother department within minutes if they don't hear from someone? From what I can read, maybe Mayking dropped the ball but perhaps so did 911. Maybe we all should be worried.
  • by anonymous too. on Jan 24, 2009 at 01:48 PM
    Listen, people that work together usually hang out somewhere together. These men are friends. Their have to be their lives depend on it. So, what if they were play a game of cards. If they didn't get the page it wasn't their fault.
  • by Scot Clouse Location: Barbourville on Jan 24, 2009 at 09:06 AM
    Personally, being a volunteer fireman myself, I think that everyone should take a hard look at their own fire departments. I know that there are a lot of people in all of these communities that have no idea what it takes to keep these place in operation. I have talked to people before in my comunity who cannot understand that we have to have fund rasiers just to pay the bills and we get no support from the county and very little from the state. I think that TV and newspaper reporters should do more reporting on local fire departments to get people to understand what firemen actually do. Not just report when something goes wrong. i mean have you ever seen an article or a report on how fire departments are organized or how that the firemen get no pay but still get up in the middle of the night to respond to your emergency. Or if you really have a problem with your own local department why don't you join them to help...... It's not like we have an over abundance of members.
  • by Volunteer Location: Laurel County on Jan 24, 2009 at 07:45 AM
    I am a volunteer firefighter as well and I have been for 15 years on a department about 10 times as busy as this one. The fundraising is understandable but when you join you are obligated to respond to calls. This time away from family and using our own gas and all those excuses are a joke. When you joined that fire department, you knew what it consisted of. If you aren't prepared to answer calls and only willing to not respond and make excuses then you should lose all county and state funding, our resign immediately and let this area be divided among departments that will respond. I have a family, and so does most of my department, when the page sounds, we respond, WITHOUT EXCUSES. By the way, you are required by law to test the paging at the same time each day. When that test page didn't alert anyone, someone should've immediately notified dispatch so the matter could be resolved, if in fact there was a problem and that this was not just another EXCUSE!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 23, 2009 at 07:22 PM
    dont sound to good
  • by hmmm... Location: letcher co on Jan 23, 2009 at 06:06 PM
    well concerned citizen you know your facts and i know mine. i'm not overwhelmingly concerned about the bingo but i do know of pages not being answered. i too know members of the mayking fire dept and some of those in charge and all i can say is shame on them.
  • by Volunteer Location: Letcher on Jan 23, 2009 at 05:59 PM
    I ama PROUD volunteer at another department. We do not play Bingo, Poker, or any other games at the station. We are too busy saving lifes and protecting property. Folks, please remember that most of us are volunteers who live here.....
  • by Just a fireman Location: Letcher co. on Jan 23, 2009 at 02:39 PM
    to the concerned citizen: I had my fire radio on that night, that fireman that went to the house, yelled and told them to bring the truck, but they didn't they were playing cards. I know someone that was playing card with them that night and he told me that all the pagers went off, the chief said not to worry about it. Call that one fireman that responded he is really mad, they didn't back him up. The dept. that I'm on has to back mayking up all the time because they get to the fire with no WATER in the truck.. LOL what a fire dept. Poker is illegal when the house cuts the pot, it is more then just friends playing because I've saw flyers, telling people to come play. I don't think that family would steal money, but they are not doing the job of responding to call. The 911 office said NOBODY from mayking has reported pager problems, and every other dept. in letcher co. is not having any pager problems. why just mayking?
  • by Former Mayking Fireman Location: Prestonsburg on Jan 23, 2009 at 02:35 PM
    Well I can tell everyone that I use to be a Vol. fireman there and when I was there we always responded to fires, in fact there were a couple of us the stayed there as much as we could just for coverage! But that was back when I was younger and wasn't married..People have to look at it also the firemen there get paid in no way what so ever...it's wild how everyone wants to jump at things when they go wrong but here's the question for them...how many of you would rush into a burning house to save someone else's stuff and not get paid for it? But on the other hand I don't agree with the bingo being played there either, never have!
  • by aConcernedCitizen on Jan 23, 2009 at 07:17 AM
    THIS IS CRAZY!!! I personally know everyone working at and running the Mayking VOLUNTEER Fire Department. They are wonderful people--I cannot wait until the investigation is over. I know for 100% fact that every dollar that is made from bingo is accounted for (people don't realize how much the state is involved in bingo). The paperwork and bank books will not lie! As for them not responding to fires, that's not true. There was an instance in the last few weeks where a woman called and reported smelling smoke in her house. Since the pagers aren't working properly (this is a county problem) fireman from the MVFD didn't get the page. One fireman, though, from Mayking did respond and checked to verify the source of the smoke. He contacted the proper authorities at MVFD and that is the reason the firetrucks weren't brought out for that emergency call. How can local officials slander families that are just trying to help the community? and where is the evidence? I can see some lawsuits here.
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