Fire protection and emergency response capabilities are getting an upgrade in the Gott community of northern Warren County, which has seen plenty of residential growth in recent years.
The Gott Volunteer Fire Department, long limited to a single fire station on Porter Pike, has opened a second station near Sunnyside-Gott and Kelly roads.
It will improve emergency response capabilities in the community while also paying homage to a former Gott VFD firefighter who died during a training exercise nearly 20 years ago.
“We’ve been trying to do this for the last three or four years,” said Gott VFD Chief Jason Duckett. “With this station, about 90 percent of the residents in the Gott community will now be within five miles of a fire station.”
The three-bay station is particularly important for residents along Kelly Road, an area that has grown as the Kentucky Transpark industrial park has developed.
“There are 600 or so residents in the Kelly Road apartments,” Duckett said. “The current fire station is eight miles from those apartments, so this new station will really help.”
The 2,800-square-foot metal structure, now outfitted with a fire truck, a tanker truck and a rescue vehicle, will give Gott residents faster access to emergency services, something that should benefit them in a number of ways.
Terry Hendrick, chairman of the Gott VFD board of directors, explained that locating the new station along Sunnyside-Gott Road will help residents with their homeowner’s insurance rates.
Those rates are determined in part by an area’s Insurance Services Office rating, which factors in proximity to a fire station and water availability.
“Many of those people will now be within five miles of a fire station,” Hendrick said. “They should see some type of break in their insurance rates.”
The response time should also be helped by Duckett’s recruitment of volunteer firefighters. He said seven of the Gott VFD’s 27 total firefighters live within two miles of the new station.
“I didn’t want to build the station unless we had firefighters out here,” Duckett said.
Duckett said the new station cost about $150,000, with much of the money provided by fundraisers and the $50 annual dues that Gott residents pay. A donation of a portion of the land also helped make the new station a reality.
“The community out here supports us really well,” Duckett said. “They support our pancake breakfast fundraiser, and some people in the community have donated their time and equipment.”
The three vehicles at the new station were funded largely by Warren Fiscal Court. Duckett said moving them to the new station has the added benefit of relieving parking issues at the Porter Pike station, which had seven vehicles before the second station was built.
Although the new station is already responding to emergency calls, Duckett said some work remains to be done on the grounds and on the granite monument in honor of Kyle Hendrick, the Gott VFD firefighter who was killed in November 2000.
“It (the monument) will keep Kyle’s memory alive,” Duckett said. “He lived in the area and was only 19 when he died.”
Kyle Hendrick’s uncle Terry Hendrick, who served 20 years on the Gott VFD and has been on the board of directors for 18 more, said the monument and the possible naming of the station in honor of his nephew is a welcome gesture.
“The entire family appreciates the monument,” he said. “We appreciate the fire department thinking about Kyle and doing a memorial. It means a lot.”