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svfd01 - Volunteers, Town Still Apart By HIKE HALL Staff...
Volunteers, Town Still Apart By HIKE HALL Staff Writer The Sophia Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) and the Town of Sophia appear to be further apart in their lire service dispute. Monday the town was informed by the SVFD that it would no longer answer calls within municipal limits The split came about when the SVFD asked the towiiio assume responsibility for the maintenance of fire hydrants in the town, financial help to train lire fighter* and the purchase of equipment. The town agreed to maintain the hydrant*, but Sophia Mayor Ernest D Nichols said the town council felt training was outside its responsibility, and if any equipment was to be purchased with town funds, it most be used «- clusively within town limits At that time, SVFD Asst Chief Robert Porter said his men were taking a wait and see attitude But according to an SVFD spokesman, the department received a letter Wednesday saying the town would no longer take fire calls and relay them to the department, would not blow the fire siren to signal the volunteers and would stop processing the fire service fee which is included in water bills A spokesman for the department said that the SO cent fire fee for Sophia residents "never came to the volunter department It has been kept and controlled by city hall since 1973 The only money we have recievetf has been a month for keeping the (city-owned) fire truck. We manned it free of charge " % The spokesman went on to say that of the out-of-town fire fees collected and processed by town hall, 15 per is used for administrative purposes: The letter states that the SVFD has "never atked hall to purchase equipment for out of town use we have asked them to purchase equipment that has badly needed in town " The SVFD asked the councilto assume half the cost training the firemen "Since they fight town fires with pay, we feel this was not an unreasonable request," spokesman said The spokesman added the SVFD asked for a written agreement with the town in 1973 "We have asked for written contracts to be negotiated in the best interest of the town and the volunteer fire department This has been done " The town is in the process of organizing a Town of Sophia volunteer department and has started action to secure fire protection for Sophia residents until the force is organized The SVFD decsion does not effect the towns of Soak Creek, Midway, Glen White, Crab Orchard, Stotesbury, McAlpine, Slab Fork or any other community that the SVFD now serves, Chief Buddy Houck said

Clipped from
  1. Beckley Post-Herald,
  2. 14 Apr 1977, Thu,
  3. Page 15

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