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Firefighters say they are locked out of station

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

Some Harlan County firefighters say they are locked out of their station.

The Sunshine Fire Department shares a building with the Community Action Agency in Harlan.

Firefighters say CAA leaders have locked them out of the station causing firefighters to not fully function as a fire department.

CAA leaders recently put the pad lock on because they just got several air conditioners for the Summer Cooling program.

Firefighters say they now have to get a key from a CAA worker to get into the station.

It's an issue that strikes a nerve.

"We cannot function as a fire department right now," said Ashley Hatfield with the Sunshine Fire Department.

"I think it's totally blown out of proportion... I really do," said Donna Pace with CAA.

"We do this out of the kindness of our hearts...we are not paid to do this. We are volunteers. It's an aggravation," said Hatfield.

Sunshine volunteer firefighters are currently working out of a temporary building while the CAA building is under renovation.

Firefighters say they keep fire hoses, gear, and other equipment in the CAA building, but now they don't always have access to the building because of the padlock.

CAA leaders say they are cooperating with the fire department.

"I have offered to let them in when they need. I have no problem giving them a key but we just did that to secure our air conditioners," said Pace.

Sunshine firefighters are also frustrated because the temporary building was recently sold ..this leaves the possibility of the department not having a home.

Harlan County officials say they want to help as much as they can.

"We are trying to find another piece of property but there are 15 fire departments in this county and two rescue squads. We are trying to help all of them," said David McGill, Harlan County Emergency Management Director.

Firefighters say they just want to have the resources to serve the community.

Both CAA leaders and firefighters say they hope they can work with each other to make sure the fire department can work efficiently.

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