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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Fish Fry's and Fundraisers kept Indiana VFDs alive like the 62 years Heltonville community supported

HELTONVILLE - OCTOBER 28,2023 - In the next several years Indiana taxpayers will be paying more for fire protection in the future as Indiana legislatures plans to abolish township government continues.

Many communities in Indiana did not have fire protection at all until the community members organized their local fire department.

The small rural non- profit organizations provide a valuable service at a very reduced cost unlike municipal government.

Most Lawrence County volunteer fire departments were organized from the early 60s- 70s.

Community members like the late Dwight Jones and Gary Faubion who organized and worked many fundraisers like the one held today at the 62 year old Pleasant Run Township.

Many forget the humble days of starting a community fire department and the many fundraisers it took to keep equipment running and the doors to fire stations doors open.

The Heltonville community supported Pleasant Run Township VFD through the years like Saturday afternoon when 200 or more came out to show support to the department.

Photo: Community members pick up red T -shirts that say "I support the Pleasant Run Township VFD

The fate of one of the Lawrence County's first fire departments will be decided by the Pleasant Run Trustee Michael Nicholson and township advisory board soon.

This will be Michael Nicholson's second attempt to discontinue the fire protection contract and go with another fire department under his term as township trustee.

A community meeting will be held this week on Thursday for township elected leaders to air their grievances against the fire department led by Fire Chief Darin Kinser.

The meeting will take place at the old Heltonville School at 7:00 pm.

The Pleasant Run Township Volunteer Fire Department held a Fish Fry and Open House on Saturday to feature the fire station renovations and allow the community to ask questions about the fire department operations.

This would make the third fire department to be on the chopping block in the last several years in Lawrence County.

Photo: Pleasant Run Township Fire Chief Darin Kinser talks with former Pleeasant Run Township Fire Chief Steve Nolan

The Guthrie Township Volunteer Fire Department was the first fire department to be closed by former Guthrie Township Trustee Robert Awbrey. The Williams Volunteer Fire Department established in 1961 was closed recently after the number of volunteers was reduced.

Spice Valley Township Trustee Michelle Cornett contracted with Indian Creek Township to provide fire protection.

Huron VFD still provides fire protection to the Huron community.

Mergers of more of Indiana's volunteer fire departments into fire territories, and fire districts will increase into the next several years as volunteers decrease and run volumes increase.

Lawrence County Fire Territory was formed in 2022 due to Lawrence County lack of ambulance coverage of over 4 years.

The fire territory has four members on duty at all times to respond from one station in Shawswick and Guthrie Townships.

The tax bill for the new emergency services have increased in Guthrie Township.

The budget for the Lawrence County Fire Territory is $859,000 in 2024.

A second fire territory is being considered in southern Lawrence County with Bono Township, Huron VFD, Marion Township, and City of Mitchell considering a fire territory.

The study on the costs related to the territory is now in the hands of all the government agencies.

The public hearing on the matter have not been released.


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