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Meeting regarding the Gravel Switch Fire Department set for Jan. 16

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State fire commission members requested the meeting

By The Staff

A meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 16 to discuss the future of the Gravel Switch Fire Department.

Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly has announced the meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Gravel Switch Community Center. According to Mattingly, members of the Kentucky State Fire Commission have asked to address some concerns.

Any individual interested in the Gravel Switch Fire Department, firefighters, past firefighters, possible future firefighters, and mutual aid departments are invited to attend the meeting.

Mattingly wrote that the Marion County Fiscal Court has supported and recognized the need to have a fire department in Gravel Switch, in part because the community is more than 10 miles from an "incorporated" city and because it is in a section of the county that is not readily accessible to other county fire departments.

"All are reasons a community fire department is critical in this area," Mattingly wrote.

He added that there are concerns about Gravel Switch Fire Department's compliance with the state fire commission's minimum standards. Mattingly mentioned training requirements for volunteer members, training certified members and roster members.

Mattingly closed the announcement by writing that buildings and equipment do no constitute a fire department; trained firefighters do.

"There have always been citizens that rallied to the cause and kept the full complement of trained, certified, and rostered firefighters necessary to meet state fire commission standards," the judge/executive wrote. "I feel that tradition can continue with the necessary local support."