Sixth Annual Guns and Hoses Fundraiser to be Held in Chandlerville

By Benjamin Cox on January 30, 2024 at 2:02pm

The Chandlerville Fire Department is working on a new building. The current building, located at 121 South Main Street, was built out of concrete block around 1951.

Fire Chief Cory Simpson says that the department has simply run out of room and it’s currently too snug for the all-volunteer department: “We’ve run out of room is what happened. It was built sometime around 1951 by one of the original founding members of the fire department. He built it with some of the other guys while he was still in high school. The fire department was founded in ’52 and it’s been going ever since. The bottom half of the department was the fire department at the time. They just parked the trucks in there however they could fit them, and the top part was the community building. Twice a week the women would come up and collect the money for the water bills and such. Around 2000ish, when they built the other community building, the fire department inherited the top part of our current fire house. The concrete up there isn’t poured as heavy. It doesn’t support the trucks as well, and again, we’re out of room.”

Simpson says that on top of all the space being cramped, the firefighters are in close proximity
to the trucks with their personal protective equipment: “We’re in close proximity with our gear and the trucks together. When we start the trucks, the PPE (personal protective equipment) which we wear right on our bodies is absorbing the exhaust fumes. That’s kind of just the way it is, since there’s no separate way to store it. Cancer is now considered to be the number one killer of firefighters and diesel exhaust contains all the carcinogens you could ever want.”

Simpson says on top of needing a new fire station, they, like all other small volunteer-run departments are putting in grants for maintaining and updating equipment. Simpson is currently going through the process of writing a small equipment grant for new breathing apparatus.

Simpson says once the equipment grant process is completed, he’ll turn his focus to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development grants in hopes of getting funds to build the new firehouse.

Simpson says that the community can help the fire department is to show up at upcoming fundraisers: “We’ve had a few offers of some things like some construction materials, things like that, but that’s not really the route to go because that’s all going to be written into our grant. It will all go in one big chunk. If people really want to help out, come to our fundraisers. That’s the best way to show support there because each grant is going to have a matching component to it and that funding has to come from somewhere.”

The first fundraiser is the 6th annual Guns & Hoses Banquet and Auction coming up on March 23rd
at Daugherty’s Pub, beginning at 4PM. Dinner tickets are $30 and can be ordered by calling the firehouse

Simpson says that the present structure has served the Chandlerville community for nearly 75 years. He says the next structure will be built with the next 100 years in mind, and the funds will be used in stewardship for lasting solutions to the benefit of the entire community.