Water, normally a friend to firefighters, has led to damage at the Hadley Volunteer Fire Department that Warren Fiscal Court took steps to remediate Friday.
The magistrates voted unanimously to approve the $47,820 bid from Bowling Green’s Hale General Contracting to make repairs to the roof and the back part of the fire station at 255 Hadley School Road.
“Basically, they’ll be replacing the back part of the building,” Hadley Fire Chief Russell Justice said. “With the roof leaking, it had rotted and was about ready to collapse. It will be sealed tighter now so it won’t leak.”
Justice said the repairs have been needed for several months but were delayed until the warmer months.
“We keep three trucks in that part of the building,” Justice said. “We’ll have to pull them out while the repairs are made, so we wanted to wait until spring.”
The Hale General Contracting bid was the only one received, according to Warren County Public Works Director Josh Moore.
“We put it in the newspaper and solicited bids,” Moore said. “But this was the only bid we got. We all know how busy construction is in Warren County. Small projects like this one just don’t get a lot of interest from the larger companies.”
Fifth District Magistrate Mark Young is hopeful the repairs will resolve a longstanding issue.
“That station has been in need of repairs for some time,” he said. “Now we have to do it right so this is not a recurring thing. I hope Hale Contracting will do a good job.”
While the Hadley VFD was approved for those repairs, another county VFD received approval from fiscal court to move ahead with purchasing equipment that will be paid for through a federal grant.
The magistrates voted to accept a bid of $82,355 from Finley Fire Equipment to provide 14 new air tanks and 28 air bottles to the Barren River VFD. The fire department was approved last year for a grant of $88,627 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The purchase approved by fiscal court will include a “pack tracker” device that will help in locating a firefighter who is injured or incapacitated.
The new equipment is sorely needed, according to Barren River Fire Chief Stephen Grossl.
“This is going to help us tremendously,” Grossl said. “We’re replacing air packs that are 18 years old. We’ve had to do numerous updates to the packs to keep them functioning. It was time to replace them.”
The newer equipment will include bottles with a 45-minute breathing capacity, an upgrade from the 30-minute bottles now being used.
“This is light years ahead of what we’ve been using,” Grossl said. “It might give us those extra minutes needed to save a life.”
The Barren River VFD is the second Warren County fire department to receive the FEMA grant. Last year, the Richardsville VFD used a $139,048 grant to purchase 24 new air tanks and other equipment.
Now that fiscal court has approved the bid, Grossl hopes to move quickly on getting the new equipment for the two Barren River VFD stations.
“I hope to make the purchase as early as Monday,” he said. “We’re hoping to have the equipment within a month.”