Residents of the Hays community near Smiths Grove are about to get an upgrade in their fire protection.
Kenneth Priddy, chief of the Smiths Grove Volunteer Fire Department, said work has started on a station on Glasgow Road (U.S. 68) that will be the third station for the department.
“We’ve purchased the property and the site work is done,” Priddy said. “Within the next couple of weeks construction should start.”
Priddy expects the new station to be operational within a couple of months.
Located on a one-acre lot near the intersection with Hays Smiths Grove Road, the new station will be a 40-foot-by-50-foot building with two bays.
Priddy believes the building will have a major impact on residents in the Hays area near the Barren County border.
“There are a little over 200 households out there that are more than five miles from the nearest fire station,” he said. “This third station will mean that everybody in that northeastern part of the county will be covered with a better insurance rating.”
Smiths Grove Mayor David Stiffey, himself a volunteer firefighter, said the new station will mean that nearly all homes in the Smiths Grove fire district will be within five miles of a station.
The Smiths Grove VFD now has a station at 120 S. Main St. and another at 6906 Gotts Hydro Road. A third station had been talked about for “three or four years,” Priddy said.
“We really started getting serious about it last year,” Priddy said. “One of the things that was holding us back was lack of volunteers. We now have seven firemen who live within one and a half miles of where the new station will be. We decided we could man it satisfactorily.”
The timing is also right for equipping the station. The Smiths Grove VFD is one of four of the county’s nine fire departments getting a new firetruck from Warren Fiscal Court this year, meaning it will have enough equipment for all three stations and its 25 volunteer firefighters.
“We’re getting a new truck for station one (on Main Street),” Priddy said. “We’ll move some trucks around, and the new station should be well-equipped as soon as it opens.”