(HURON) – The Huron Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the community since 1962.
The challenges of a volunteer fire department are greater now than they have ever been.
Lawrence County has lost two fire departments since 2016. The financial costs and keeping volunteers has been a challenge not only in Lawrence County but across the United States.
The rural fire department relies on the support of the Spice Valley Township trustee and the generous donations of its community.
“We want to thank Spice Valley Township trustee and the advisory board for the support we receive,” said Huron Fire Chief Bill Kinser. The department receives $15,000 a year from Spice Valley Township.
The Indian Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department received $15,000 from the township trustee to provide fire protection north of the White River.
“We want to thank Indian Creek, Marion Township, and Mitchell Fire Departments for supporting us during our structure fires and other large fires,” said Kinser.
But, the fire department has made some significant upgrades in firefighting equipment by purchasing two fire engines.
The department purchased a 1989 Pierce which has a 1250 GPM pump, and 1,000-gallon tank. They also purchased and a 1999 Freightliner Laverne with a 1550 GPM pump, and 1500-gallon tank.
With these trucks, the department can arrive on the scene with approximately 4,500 gallons of water, while waiting on the mutual aid departments to arrive with more water.
In rural areas, water supply to fighting fires can be a challenge, especially with no fire hydrants in the South Lawrence Water District.
The Pierce engine has a hydraulic foam capability that aids in extinguishing structure fires, especially in remote rural areas where water is in short supply.
The engines have extrication equipment to assist with the numerous accidents on busy U.S. 50 West and State Road 60 that run through the department’s jurisdiction.
The department has been training its members and firefighters with the Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department to familiarize everyone in using the apparatus.
The total purchase price for the two engines was $21,000. Spice Valley Township Trustee Michelle Cornett has expressed interest in trying to help the department towards the cost of the two engines in some way.
Huron Volunteer Fire Department has a roster of 28 members, 22 of those members are emergency medical trained personnel. The department also partners with the Lawrence County Search and Rescue Team, and both agencies have drones to assist in searches of lost individuals.
The department so far has responded to 250 to 270 calls for help this year, on a budget of $20,000.
Many organizations such as Hoosier Uplands, and other civic organizations, continue to support their department.
“Our residents in the Huron community has always supported our department over the last 58 years. For that support we are grateful,” Fire Chief Bill Kinser concluded.