Financial Crunch For Small Time Fire Departments

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(Bolivar, TN) For a small town fire department, Bolivar’s firefighters don’t get a lot of downtime.

The crews roll out not just within city limits, but also areas in the county where there is no fire department.

“Really and truly city taxes are paying for county people,” said Fire chief Lynn Price.

Price added the county pays his department and other city fire departments $500 each time they work a fire outside city limits where there is no fire department.

Price said after he buys gas and pays overtime for the trips, he’s often in the hole.

He and other city fire chiefs feel the county calls are killing their budget and county leaders refuse to pay more.

“We’re back to the drawing board we don’t know what’s going to happen”, said Price.

County residents don’t want their places to turn to piles of rubble because there’s no one to fight the flames when fire breaks out.

“For the people of the county maybe we need to pony up, it is getting more expensive”, said Joan Ashe.

The chief says his guys will still help people in need but he wants residents to help him by electing new county commissioners.

“The people themselves need to punish them by going to the pool and putting someone in there that’s going to put them first”, said Price.