Volunteers working to reopen fire department

Cris Ritchie — Editor

October 11, 2013

ARY—Three years have passed since people living in the Ary and Rowdy communities have had their own fire department. That is about to change, however, as several volunteers have stepped forward to get the Troublesome Creek Fire Department back up and running.

Since Troublesome’s closure, the departments in Fisty and Lost Creek have been working to cover the area, which includes a section of the county along Ky. 476 from Ary to the Breathitt County line. Nathan Campbell has spent the past nine years as a volunteer firefighter in Perry County, and said there is a need for the Troublesome Creek department to reopen and begin serving the people living in those communities. He met with Circuit Judge William Engle, who sits on the board of the E.O. Robinson fund, Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble, and Magistrate Frank Hurley on Tuesday about how to best work toward that end.

“I saw this place kind of needed it because of the large area, so I thought I’d come up here … and see if we could get the ball rolling,” said Campbell, who will serve as the department’s chief once it reopens.

Finding someone to man the department has been a project county officials have worked on for about nine months, noted Judge Noble, who along with Campbell and several others on Wednesday took an inventory of the equipment and vehicles the department has on hand.

Getting the department back up and running remains a priority, Noble added, not only because it provides a certain level of protection for residents, but homeowners living nearby should enjoy lower insurance rates.

“I appreciate these boys stepping up and wanting to get it started back, because this could save a life, and of course it will save people money,” Noble said.

Twenty volunteers have made themselves available and all will come with experience from other departments, Campbell said of the support received so far.

“The guys I’m bringing in here I’ve been with since I’ve been young, some coming from Jakes Branch, Vicco, Ball Creek,” he said. “Every fire department around here is trying to come in here and help with this.”

There is also support for the department from the board of the E.O. Robinson fund, which oversees the Homeplace grounds where the department is located. Judge Noble said he also hopes area residents can show their support for the department and the volunteers who are working to see it open again.

“I just hope the community gets involved and sees how important this is,” Noble said. “We’re hoping to have some kind of dinner, so they can meet the boys and see all they’re trying to do to help.”

The department currently has three trucks, including one rescue vehicle. Campbell said the equipment is in excellent condition despite having sat idle for the past three years, and he aims to have the doors open again by Christmas.