CARTERS VALLEY — Carters Valley firefighters are hoping the community they serve will utilize some of the upcoming fund-raising programs to help offset the cost of a new fire truck.
Last March the department received a 95 percent federal Homeland Security matching grant for the purchase of a pumper tanker which is currently being built to the department’s specifications in a plant in Pennsylvania for a little less than $278,000.
The good news is that the department has the money in the bank to cover its 5 percent match when the truck is delivered next month.
The bad news is that will eat into the department’s annual operating budget to the tune of about $10,000. In other words the department will have to come up with the additional $10,000 to finish out this current fiscal year.
The CVVFD has a number of fund-raising tools including annual events like the Haunted Forest at Halloween and regular events.
The department hosts a fish fry on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 4 to 8 p.m. It’s $7 for carry out and $8 for dine-in because you get a drink.
As for upcoming special events, this coming Saturday, July 19, the department hosts an antique tractor pull beginning at 4 p.m. at a farm at the end of AFG Road. Admission is $5 which goes directly to the truck fund, and Chief Mike Yates said it’s easy to find. Just turn south onto AFG Road from Highway 11-W and keep driving. You can’t miss it, he said.
The department is also in the midst of a special mail-out campaign asking residents of the territory covered by the CVVFD to give a little extra to help cover the new fire truck’s matching funds.
The CVVFD has the biggest fire coverage territory in Hawkins County including a population of more than 11,000 and ranging from areas surrounding Surgoinsville and the Virginia state line to the Sullivan County line.
Yates joked that if every person in their district gave $1 the truck would be paid for, but he knows that’s not realistic. But a big enough turnout to the tractor pull could put a major dent in that $10,000 deficit.
“We have an outstanding community as far as support, and they’ve been real good to us in the past,” Yates said. “We fully understand that with fuel prices, the value of a dollar being more than ever. But we still need a lot of help to get this truck to make it safer for the community.”
The new truck will replace a “homemade” 1980 model tanker that was built with a gasoline hauler’s tank.
The new truck can carry six firemen and includes a 1,500-gallon tank and a 1,500-gallon- per-minute pump.
“It will allow us to pump water up to some of the more rural areas where we’ve had trouble getting a truck to in the past,” Yates said. “It’s going to allow us a few more minutes of water on the fire. The safety features on this truck are just unbelievable.
“The men and women of this department have never had the safety features that this truck will have.”
Yates said his department has a truck fund set aside and anyone who wants to contribute can send a check to P.O. Box 243, Church Hill, TN, 37642, Attn. Truck Fund.
More information can be obtained by calling the department at 357-7107 or on the department’s Web site at www.cartersvalleyfiredept.com.