- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Hardin Fiscal Court is withholding monthly financial allotments for five volunteer fire departments after they failed to submit a series of test results set by the state as a minimum standard.
The enforcement action was approved through a resolution Tuesday evening that will withhold monthly allotments for February, March and April for those departments that failed to submit the results of four tests — ladder, hose, self-contained breathing apparatus and pump — by Jan. 17.
David Underwood, director of Hardin County Emergency Management, said Upton, Sonora, Ky. 86, West Point and White Mills fire departments missed the deadline and will have their allotments held until the qualifications are met.
Underwood said the departments failed to meet the requirements for different reasons. For example, he said, Upton had completed the four tests but forgot to submit one of the results. The department has since rectified the error and payments will resume in May, he said.
“We explained to them, if we don’t have the tests, you didn’t do them,” he said.
Another department’s tests were canceled because of bad weather but has rescheduled them and payments will likely resume in May, he said.
“I’m sure the other three will do the same,” he said.
Most of the county’s volunteer fire departments receive a monthly allotment of $500 from the county, Underwood said. Deputy Judge-Executive Jim Roberts said one department, West Point, receives around $580.
Underwood said Elizabethtown and Radcliff Fire Departments receive some assistance but he did not have their monthly totals available.
The county also pays building insurance, insurance on vehicles and provides special project funding to help volunteer departments purchase equipment, Underwood said.
The departments were given the entirety of 2012 and warned there could be penalties if they failed to comply, but Underwood said he is not certain all of them took the county seriously.
Since the advent of the county’s fire advisory board, there has been a focus on both firefighter and resident safety and Underwood said officials have started checking equipment and files to make sure the departments are up-to-date. Likewise, the county’s emergency services committee felt testing requirements should be adhered to.
“These tests need to be done,” Underwood said.
According to the resolution, departments that do not complete the tests and submit the results by March 1 will lose the remainder of their allotments from May to December. All 2012 test requirements should be complete before starting this year’s tests.
The process starts over next year as departments have until Jan. 2, 2014, to turn in this year’s test results or risk losing monthly payments for calendar year 2014, according to the resolution.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or email@example.com.