One of the county volunteer fire departments is asking Coffee County for financial help.
Assistant Chief of Summitville Volunteer Fire Department Michael Hopkins attended the Coffee County Commission’s meeting Sept. 8 to tell commissioners that volunteer fire departments are struggling.
“We came tonight because the volunteers are in need,” Hopkins said. “We are not able to fundraise like we normally do, so our funding is getting short and is causing the risk of having to shut our doors.”
The county provides money for the volunteer departments every year. This year, Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department received 66,330; Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department received 66,330; New Union Volunteer Fire Department received 66,330; North Coffee Volunteer Fire Department received 42,000; Summitville Volunteer Fire Department received 76,230.
Hopkins said he had requested additional funds, but the request was denied.
“We asked for COVID money and we were passed over,” Hopkins said. “We have not asked this committee or this county for much. Our fire chief has to sign their personal name for every truck that is bought for us. We have to put ourselves on the line for these trucks. It costs us $8,000 to equip one firefighter…The money we receive, we make it stretch, but we can use some more help.”
Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell said he would “put that request on the table.”
“This will be on the agenda of the budget and finance committee and we’re are trying to set that up for Sept. 29,” Cordell said.
The committee will consider the request and discuss the possibility of providing additional funds for the fire departments, added Cordell.
Budget and finance committee meets at 5 p.m. tonight.