Volunteer fire department in Casey closed after audit

July 20, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - The South Fork Fire Department has been officially closed because of five non-compliances found during a June audit.

Casey Fiscal Court decided to close the facility after a July 1 letter from Ronnie Day, executive director of the Kentucky Fire Commission, saying the state would no longer recognize the fire department.

The action to shut down the fire department was taken Monday night at the court's regular meeting, according to Judy Allen, judge-executive pro-tem.

She said the South Fork area will be covered by the closest fire department to the fire scene. Dunnville, Poplar Springs, South East Casey and East Casey County volunteer fire departments are the closest ones to the South Fork community. Residents needing assistance should call the E911 communications center and the dispatcher will contact the closest fire unit.


Casey County Judge-Executive Ronald Wright thinks the community will get together soon and reorganize the department. "I feel like it will work out fine," he said. "We will help in any way we can."

Wright said the South Fork community will have adequate fire protection until they can get organized.

Wayne Mullannix with the state Fire Commission presented the audit to the commission June 10, when the findings were listed, according to the letter.

The commission found that South Fork Fire Department had non-operational fire apparatus, non-compliant protective equipment, non-compliant training records, no lesson plans for training and no instructor listed to provide training.

Pursuant to state law, the following services would not be available to South Fork because of the results of the audit: Hepatitis B inoculation of firefighters, allotment of funds occurring from insurance premium surcharge proceeds, qualifications for all allotments, firefighters training center fund, reimbursement for equipment losses and low interest loan fund.

South Fork Fire Chief Jim Gossage could not be reached for comment.

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