December 29, 2013
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A volunteer fire department in Eastern Kentucky has closed due to a lack of personnel and other problems.
The Appalachian News-Express reports the Kentucky Fire Commission ordered the Hatfield Volunteer Fire Department closed on Dec. 20 after audits found unacceptable operating deficiencies in personnel training and equipment.
“The department had to be closed because there weren’t enough people, either on the board of directors or the number of firefighters, to sustain operation,” Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett said. “The plan is to reorganize and attempt to correct the shortages and deficiencies and get the fire department up and running again.”
Tackett said the process to restructure the department began on Thursday.
“Normally whenever the commission discovers a problem that leads to a closure like this, they usually start back with all new people,” Tackett said. “But the goal is going to be to get them back on their feet as soon as possible.”
Until that happens, Tackett says three other nearby volunteer departments will provide fire protection to the area.
“Some of the equipment is still at the Hatfield building, but we needed to bring the trucks and some other things to Belfry just to check it out and make sure everything was there and working properly,” Tackett said.