One Pike County fire department in danger of closing

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

One Pike County volunteer fire department is in danger of closing.
The Turkey Creek Fire Department does not have enough volunteer firefighters. If it does not get more, then the department could have to shut down.

The Turkey Creek Fire Department responds to several calls for help each week, mostly car wrecks and house fires.
"While we are a low call volume, we have a hard time responding to runs because we don't have people to engineer these trucks, to drive these apparatus," said Assistant Chief Matthew Cline.

Not enough firefighters could put lives in danger.
"You have to have at least eight to ten people in the fire grounds to successfully fight a fire and sometimes that's not enough," said Cline.

The Turkey Creek fire department only has six volunteers right now.
"That's our biggest downfall. If we don't recruit enough people, we're more than likely going to have to close the doors to the station," said Cline.

The next closest stations are several miles away in Belfry and Hatfield.
Cline does not want to lose the department or the safety it provides the rural Turkey Creek community.
"It would devastate me if this department had to close. There's so many good people in this community, I'd hate to see them lose fire protection because of lack of participation," said Cline.

If the fire department has to shut its doors, it could affect more than emergency response time. It could mean homeowners have to pay more in homeowner insurance rates. Officials say the rates could double.

The firefighters are recruiting new firefighters. They need at least four more volunteers to keep the department open.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and complete 20 hours of training.

There will be a community meeting at the Turkey Creek Fire Department on November 19th at 3:00 p.m.
People who want to volunteer can sign up then and learn what steps they need to take to become a certified volunteer firefighter.
Representatives from the state fire commission, Pike County Judge-Executive's office, and Pike County Emergency Management are also expected to attend to answer any questions from the community.

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