"If this (Bellamy's) house were on fire today, we would have to go all the way back into the city limits to get fresh water," said County Judge-Executive John Myers.
According to Clark County Battalion Chief Anthony Blakemore, leaving the scene of the fire to find more water requires more maintenance of and wear and tear on the fire trucks, as well as less manpower at the scene.
"Water supply is our biggest issue," agreed Fire Chief Ralph Ladson.
A pipe was inserted in Bellamy's pond, and a hydrant was attached to provide availability to the 30,000 gallons of water. Before the installation, a survey was conducted to ensure the pond met certain criteria, including the ability to maintain an adequate supply of water. The survey is done for each dry hydrant that is installed.
Myers said he hopes to someday get an insurance break for county residents who live near a dry hydrant, although insurance companies don't currently recognize them.
"If you're out so many miles, you simply have very poor protection as far as insurance rates," he said.
Anyone in the county who has a water source can be considered for a dry hydrant. The county will send engineers to survey the area.
"Anytime you're so many miles from a fire station, the ability to fight your fire successfully goes down by the minute," Myers said, while adding that there are currently several other areas in the county they are considering.
Firefighters planned to test the hydrant installed on Bellamy's property and will have to maintain the site.
However, the work is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of Bellamy and his neighbors.
"This is a really exciting day for our county," Myers said. "Ever since I came here as judge, public safety is a priority with me. In doing this, I know that we're going to save somebody's house, and maybe save somebody's life.
"Ultimately, our goal is to provide a higher quality of fire protection for the residents of our county."***