Chickasaw County community raising funds for new fire station
The Thorn VFD is entering the final phase of its building project for its new station
THORN, MISS. (WCBI) – It’s been twenty years in the making, but a Chickasaw County community is closer to getting a much-needed new headquarters for its Volunteer Fire Department.
The theme for the Thorn Volunteer Fire Department is “Serving God and Mankind.” Chief Andy Harmon says a new, larger fire station will help the department fulfill its mission.
“We are multi-purpose, we are first responders, medical calls, we also, we help our neighbors, neighbors serving neighbors,” Chief Harmon said.
Work was recently completed on the shell of a metal building that will serve as the new station for the Thorn VFD. Chief Harmon says there are no grants available for the project because the average median household income in the area is too high. So, his department is going to the community for funding. So far, 95 thousand dollars has been raised. Now, the project enters phase three, which will be the completion of the building. Electrical, sewer, office space, and other items will run about $100,000.
“This building here is one hundred percent funded by the community, we’ve done several fundraisers, giveaways, flipped burgers, anything to think of to raise money for this building,” said Thorn VFD Board member Robbie Lynch.
A new, more modern fire station will also improve the department’s fire rating from the state, which translates to lower insurance rates for area homeowners.
“I addressed the community two years ago, that we had been contacted by the state, that if we didn’t get a building done our rates, we would lose our rates, which would cost each household about 250 dollars a year,” said Thorn VFD Board President Wayne Byars.
The new headquarters will also make things more efficient. This is the current fire station for Thorn VFD. It has been used since the 1980s and it’s not even big enough to store all of the equipment.
“They have equipment scattered around in different member’s sheds and shops, trying to keep them housed, so the addition of this building will be huge, not only for the protection of equipment but for the morale of this fire department and the community, it will be something to be proud of for a long time,” said Chickasaw County Fire Coordinator Jonathan Blankenship.
The board is planning more fundraisers, and raffles for the new station. They hope to have it complete this year.
Chickasaw County EMA Director Linda Griffin says the county has secured a grant for a storm shelter that will be built on the west side of the new fire station.
The shelters can be used by the firefighters and the community during severe weather.