Lakeville officials update public on local fire department
LAKEVILLE, Ind. -- The Lakeville community could see their firetrucks back on the streets this weekend after over a month.
After that month of unanswered questions from residents about the state of their local fire department, a unanimous vote by the Fire Territory Advisory Board will have the Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department back up and running under a new administrative fire chief.
“The firemen themselves have one person to go to for paperwork, us as a fire territory board have one sole person we can go to, the administrative chief, to oversee that,” explains Patrick Howard, the Town of Lakeville Representative on the Fire Territory Board.
The administrative chief will act as a liaison between the volunteer firefighters and the board, which will help prevent logistic issues that caused the sudden shutdown in the first place.
Just last month, the department stopped fire service because paperwork issues caused issues with its insurance.
Volunteer firefighters will now need to be hired on as employees of Union Township in order to be properly insured.
“Until the non-for-profit can come back, the best course of action to get these men back out there and serving the community was to take them on as employees of Union Township, and at that point they can have insurance coverage again,” Howard says.
Once the administrative chief and the 14 volunteers who've applied are officially hired, Southwest Fire Territory won’t have to keep covering Lakeville calls.
“It will be directed to them that we do have our firemen in place, and we can respond to emergency calls,” Howard explains.
Southwest Fire Territory will still assist with mutual aid if needed.
The board expects to officially hire the chief and volunteer firefighters Friday, then the department can get back up and running.