Big steps taken in county fire protection

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From limited resources and manpower to added departments and much broader coverage areas, Magoffin County’s fire protection has witnessed a major overhaul in recent years.

From limited resources and manpower to added departments and much broader coverage areas, Magoffin County’s fire protection has witnessed a major overhaul in recent years.

“When I first became a magistrate 12 years ago, the county had just one fire department,” Pernell “Buck” Lemaster said. “Now we have five.”
Lemaster, who represents magisterial district II, says the extra departments provide not just fire protection for the communities they serve, but also a sense of wellbeing and opportunities for monetary improvements.
“They add security for one thing,” he said. “It’s also dropped insurance rates for those who live in the areas with new departments. People feel safer and they feel like they can invest more in their homes without as much fear of losing it.”

One of the new department additions is in Lemaster’s district. And North Magoffin Fire Department is one of the county’s better equipped fire departments.

“Having good equipment is really important, but when it comes to a fire department it is all about community,” Lemaster said. “The county and the state can just do so much. In order to have a good fire department you have to have the community behind it.”

From North Magoffin to Bloomington to Middle Fork and up the Liking River to District III and South Magoffin, community members have been busy turning hopes of better fire protection into a reality.

Middle Fork now has a fully functioning fire department which was created and furnished the past couple of years and the South Magoffin Fire Department came into existence during the past few months.
“I am really proud of how rapidly they’ve moved through the process,” Magoffin County judge-executive Charles Hardin, MD said of the South Magoffin effort.
As with other county fire departments, South Magoffin is powered by community volunteers.
“Our fire departments and our rescue squad is some of the best bang for the buck we have,” Hardin added. “These people are dedicated. Their service is an act of love for their neighbors and their community.”
Along with fire protection, Hardin says fire fighters and departments provide a variety of services to community residents.
“They assist in medical problems such as helping prepare air-lift sights and they provide a focal to help maintain their communities and their community’s unique identity,” he said.

Note: The Salyersville Independent will have a weekly series of articles focusing of Magoffin County’s fire and rescue departments and the people that power them.