Volunteers form new fire department in Casey

August 22, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

EVONA - A new fire department has been organized to cover this community in southern Casey County.

A seven-member board was named Monday for the new Evona Volunteer Fire Department which began work on by-laws, firefighter recruitment and a location for its headquarters, said Gary Lavender, who chaired the meeting. Besides Lavender, others on the board are: Donald Baldock, Hershel Lawhorn, Andy Miller, Larry Haggard, and firefighters Mark Hurst and Lewis Shirk.

Evona was chosen as the name of the new fire department after the Evona post office that once served the residents in this rural community, Lavender said.

Lavender said a committee also was named to find available land for a new building.

County Judge-Executive Ronald Wright assured the 35 residents who attended the organizational meeting that the county will work with the community to get water lines to a new headquarters.


"I didn't want to limit the search for property because of the lack of water," Wright said Friday. "If the location is a distance from the main road, we (the county) will try to get water there."

Rick Wesley, county emergency management director, also offered help to get the fire department certified. Twelve firefighters and a chief must be trained before they begin fighting fires.

"As of now, we already have eight men with 50 hours of training," Lavender said. "They (firefighters) need 75 hours to be certified." He said state fire officials have offered to help with the training to get the fire department started.

"We're starting from the ground up," he said. "The next thing we need to do is to find a fire truck and water truck," Lavender said. "Donations will be gladly accepted."

"We're different from the South Fork department, but we will have the same boundaries and serve between 400 and 500 residences in the community. The boundary will stretch five miles outside the Evona community.

While a fire truck and equipment remain in the old South Fork Fire Department building, nothing can be moved until a debt at a local bank has been satisfied, according to Lavender.

The community has been without a fire department since the South Fork Fire Department was shut down recently for non-compliance with state regulations. However, other rural fire departments in the county have been on standby.

Lavender said the new fire department will help keep property insurance premium rates down. "The insurance is high if no fire department is close," Lavender said.

The next public meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Galilean Home gymnasium.

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