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Volunteer Firefighters Are Losing Funding

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Volunteer firefighters in one eastern Kentucky county are losing over half their funding.

The Bell County Judge Executive says other agencies need the money, but the firefighters say it's going to cripple their department.

Bell County Volunteer Firefighter Sondra Goodin says this fire truck needs a new transmission and her department was planning on building a new fire station in the Arjay community.

“They need something bigger to work out of a truck to faster serve the community and to respond on time,” Goodin said.

She wonders if the department will have money for any of that after the county fiscal court cuts its annual funds by more than half.

“I feel he didn't give us just reason to cut as severely as he did,” Goodin said.

County Judge Executive Albey Brock says the county's rescue squad needed more money and several county ambulances have recently broken down while on emergency runs.

“Nobody has been in any life-threatening problems because of mechanical problems, but we're trying to take care of it as quickly as we possibly can,” Judge Brock said.

Judge Brock says the county needs a new fleet of ambulances and redistributing money will help pay for that.

But he says the county will still help out the firefighters when they need it.

“If they have an emergency we'll be more than happy to address it because we want to keep the service. We're not going to let that be diminished,” Judge Brock said.

Sondra Goodin says the department will have to cut down on training and she's wondering what else it will have to be cut to continue to operate.

The new ordinance also gives hazardous pay to Bell County Sheriff's Deputies.

The change in county funding goes into effect in July.


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