Commissioners Corner for week of December 29, 2011

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Our Volunteer Departments


This month the commission would like to introduce the seven emergency volunteer service organizations of our county. These are: White Oak Volunteer Fire Department, Stoney Fork Volunteer Fire Department, Pinecrest Volunteer Fire Department, Ridgewood Volunteer Fire Department, Campbell County Rural Fire Service, Jellico Rescue Squad, and LaFollette Rescue Squad.

These organizations and departments are all operated by volunteers whom receive no compensation or benefits for their service yet they are on call and available 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 365 days per year. These are the services you hope to never use. However, if you have to make that call you depend on them to be readily available and respond quickly and professionally. Whether it’s a firefighter or rescue squad member they each undergo weeks and even months of training to prepare for the worst situations we could imagine.

 Even the volunteers hope they never use some of their training. However, they are ready to leap into action if called upon with a moment of notice and receive no pay for their service. These groups need additional funding to advance their training. The volunteers will be the first to let you know that their drive to keep helping comes from the satisfaction of helping others.

In addition to being there to serve us, these departments also help us out financially. You may be asking, “How do these departments save me money?”

According to reports, from one local insurance company, for example the residents of Wheeler Landing save an average of 25 percent annually on their home owner’s insurance because Pinecrest Volunteer Fire Department has the station on Mount Paran road.

The residents of Cedar Creek save an average of 35 percent because of the Campbell County Rural Fire Service Station located in that area. So you may be asked to donate a few dollars during the road drives but consider if you have insurance of $500 per year, without the fire departments you could be paying $125 more each year for the insurance.

A $20 donation could save you hundreds of dollars, not to mention your life.

Your donation has a great return on investment. Don’t let the names mislead you. Many people see the LaFollette Rescue Squad name and think it is associated with the city of LaFollette. However, it is not. The rescue squad serves all of Campbell County including the city of LaFollette, except for Jellico who has its own rescue squad. Each year these departments have to raise money just to stay in operation.

As your commissioners we are pleased to say that through the county budget process you are able to assist through your property taxes. Even though the county is only able to allocate a small amount each year it helps the departments to stay in operation. The amount allocated is a very small amount of their respective operating budgets so the next time you read about a fund raiser or find yourself in a road drive try to find a small donation.