RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
SOUTH SHORE, Ky. —The South Shore, Ky., Volunteer Fire Department will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Oct. 7, with an open house from noon until 3 p.m. Along with the department, three crew members will be recognized this year for having each served 40 years or more.
The South Shore Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1952 using public donations and funds leftover from the dissolution of the Fullerton Civic Service Club. With support from local taxpayers, the department has grown from a one-bay building located behind the old market owned by Kenneth Ratliff (a founding member of the department), to a modern, six-bay station on South Shore Drive with a complete kitchen, office, communications and training room.
The department’s first truck was a 1927 Boyer open-cab firetruck, which they bought used for $1,000 from Minford Fire Department.
The department now has 26 members and eight vehicles — a 1983 Ford Truck, 1992 KME Tanker/Pumper, 1994 Freightline Pumper, 1997 GMC Brush Truck, 2001 International Tanker, 2004 International Pumper, 2004 Chevy Command Vehicle, and a 2010 Chevy Rescue Truck. The department also operates a 16-foot long Sierra boat for water rescues, the Amkus Jaws of Life Rescue Tool, an ISI Thermal Imaging Camera and a Polaris four-wheeler for search and rescue.
Chief Kenneth Taylor and fireman Danny Adkins will both be celebrating their own anniversaries with the department, marking 50 years in December when they will be honored at the fire department’s annual Christmas dinner. Taylor admits that Adkins actually joined first, but said he left the station for a few years and later came back.
“Back then, if your dad was a member of the department you could come in at 15, and my dad was a member of the department and Danny’s dad was. They had what they called Junior Firemen then. Back then the only thing we could do was work here at the station because we was too young. They’d take us on the run, but we couldn’t fight no fires. The state of Kentucky doesn’t recognize you until you’re 18,” Taylor said.
He called it a great experience.
“Nobody here gets paid anything, but it’s a great enjoyment to help your community. I’ve really enjoyed it over the years, and I know Danny has too,” he said.
Taylor retired from the North American Refractory Brickyard, in South Shore, in 2002. He said it was difficult balancing a full-time job and his volunteer duties with the department, but the brickyard always let them go whenever they heard the fire alarm.
Taylor said fireman Jerry Diller will also be honored at the Christmas dinner for serving 40 years with the department.
The public is invited to tour the station, enjoy refreshments and an inflatable fire truck for children at the open house on Oct. 7. Taylor said the Boy Scouts will be at the station, grilling hot dogs for guests.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.