The Leitchfield Fire Department (LFD) recently celebrated more than 100 years of service to the City of Leitchfield.
The LFD celebrated its rich history and the sacrifices of its volunteers during its Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 5.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded to Jordan Hayes for five years of service; David Johnson, Roy Hack and Wendall Snyder each for 10 years of service; Derrick Lasley for 15 years; Bob Crawford for 35 years; and Steve Stapleton for 40 years on the department.
According to Leitchfield Fire Chief Tim Duvall, while the exact founding date of the department is unknown, the LFD has literature that dates it back to as early as 1914 when it was a “bucket brigade,” with buckets placed around Public Square for firefighters to fill and pour on fires.
The LFD has grown significantly since that time, and many of its most notable changes have taken place in recent years thanks to the support of Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason, the Leitchfield City Council, and the community, Duvall said.
The department now has more than 40 volunteer firefighters, new and improved apparatuses, and a new fire station, all of which contributed to the department’s recently improved Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of Class 4.
Duvall took over as Leitchfield Fire Chief in 2015 and has made it his goal in 2016 to strengthen the department with the most dedicated volunteers and stricter guidelines.
“The days of the good old boys system are over,” Duvall said. “The department is going to have to be run more like a business.”
To accomplish this, volunteers with the LFD will be required to participate in more emergency runs and training to ensure the department meets the qualifications to receive its annual state aid.
If a volunteer does not meet the department’s expectations, he or she will be let go to make room for volunteers who will, according to Duvall.
The stricter guidelines have produced positive results so far, as the LFD has seen 88 percent—the highest percentage in the department’s history—of its membership meet the certification and training requirements, but there is still work to be done.
Duvall said his goal is to increase that percentage to 100 percent.
Duvall takes great pride in his position and his department as he celebrates the LFD’s past while working to improve its future and assures that he and the LFD will take great care of the community they serve.
“We’re going to keep going and getting stronger,” he said.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.