Fire department needs detailed at Lions meeting

SPEAKING TO LIONS-Doug Young (left) expresses appreciation to Celina Volunteer Fire Chief Keith Long for his presentation to the Celina Lions Club.

CELINA-Reverend Keith Long pastor of the Celina United Methodist Church and Chief of the Celina Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), recently made a presentation to the Celina Lions Club here about the Celina VFD that included a brief history and current status of the department revealing that new equipment and more volunteer members are needed.

The Celina Volunteer Fire Department answers 60-70 fire and other emergency alarms per year with just twelve volunteers even though the department is authorized for a total of twenty-five. New recruits are needed and persons interested should contact Chief Long.

Chief Long also detailed the ages of the current fire engines saying that one engine was put into service in 1977, another in 1981 and the newest fire engine began service in 1995. Plans are being made to find monetary resources to acquire a newer more efficient fire engine.

Despite the shortcomings in manpower and equipment the Celina VFD performs its duties well. “The Celina Fire Department has one of the best ISO (International Organization for Standardization) ratings in the Upper Cumberland Area”, Long stated.

ISO is a measure of how effective the Fire Department will be in responding to fire and fire related emergencies. Chief Long recognized the Celina mayor and board of aldermen for their efforts to improve the water supply to the fire hydrants, which is of significant importance along with other factors in determining the ISO rating.

Over the years the Celina VFD has through various revenue sources purchased protective equipment, tools, and apparatus (trucks) providing maximum protection for the firefighters and providing a dedicated level of service to the residents of Celina and the surrounding area.

Long praised the other volunteer fire departments in the county for their work together providing coverage for the entire county.

Last year’s emergency created by the flood saw all our emergency services come together to assist people in distress throughout Clay County. Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Natalie Boone deserves a lot of credit for the leadership exhibited during this emergency. During the flood, volunteers were here in the county through the effective deployment of the Upper Cumberland Mutual Aid System. In times of need Clay County volunteer fire departments contribute assistance through the mutual aid network to neighboring counties with large scale emergencies. An example from a couple of years ago was the Macon County tornado response.