Central City Fire Department
Here is a bit of our history.
The Central City Fire Department was established in the 1890's by the City Council. Since that time the department has grown, not only in size, but also in its responsibilities and services. At its conception, the only responsibility was to extinguish fires.
Included in the modern responsibilities relating to fire is the on-going fire prevention inspection program. The Central City Fire Department is among a few of Kentucky's more than 800 fire departments that has been deputized by the State Fire Marshal to perform fire inspections on existing regulated structures. When making these inspections, the Central City Fire Department has all the legal power vested by Kentucky Statute in the Fire Marshal's Office. These inspections are conducted to assist the property owners with providing reasonable life safety by complying with the State Fire Codes.
The Fire Department also educates the public in fire safety through giving talks, fire station tours and through training sessions. During Fire Prevention Week, members of the fire department talk to school children about fire safety. The importance of being careful around fire is stressed, and students are instructed in how to react in case of a fire in their homes. In addition, the presenter demonstrates how the fire fighter looks wearing his turnout gear and air packs. The presenter also stresses what to do should one's clothes catch on fire: STOP, DROP AND ROLL. The training is not limited to school children. Training is provided to nursing home staffs, day care centers and senior citizens groups. In addition, the department visits businesses and industries to provide them with helpful tips on how to prevent fires. An important part of the department's prevention program is listening to owners and employees of these businesses and industries so that the firefighters can better deal with emergencies when they arise. The philosophy is that the public and the Fire Department can benefit each other.
After each fire is extinguished, the Fire Department is required by law to determine what started the fire and to report its findings to the State Fire Marshal. Although it may look like an impossible task, it is possible to determine the cause of most fires by examination of all the facts. Fire Department members are trained to recognize indicators such as burn patterns to determine the origin of the fire.
Another duty of the firefighter, responding to hazardous materials incidents, has become increasingly important in recent times. As a result, firefighters undergo annual training to equip them to deal with this life-threatening duty.
In the past 25 years, the Fire Department has gone from responding to fires to include responding to all public emergencies. Emergency Medical Technicians on the Fire Department render emergency first aid to the sick and injured. The Rescue Squads respond to everything from heart attacks to car wrecks. The emergency medical calls now comprise more than 60% of the total responses. To meet this demand, each responder is required to attend continuing education classes and to keep C.P.R certification current.
All Fire Department members receive training in auto-extrication and work as a team to free trapped persons in vehicle accidents. In addition, the department provides all tools and equipment to assure quick and efficient extrication for the trapped victims. The first responder has become a vital part of the emergency medical services in Muhlenberg County and has contributed to making it one of the best systems in the state.
The Fire Department also performs water rescue and recovery. With several trained scuba divers in the department, there are greater chances for rescue for the unfortunate victims in the rivers and lakes. In addition, the dive team has aided law enforcement officials in finding stolen items and weapons used in the commission of crimes..
Although the members of the Central City Fire Department engage in endless hours of training and hard work, if asked "Why?", will respond unanimously, "Because we love it." A firefighter's glory is his PRIDE in what he does, how he does it and for whom he does it. In the Book of John, Chapter 15, Jesus says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Firefighters look at their communities as their friends and stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for them.