City council changes fire coverage area for Region 8 fire department

HORNERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) - The Hornersville City Council voted unanimously to change the fire coverage for the Hornersville Fire Department.

Hornersville Mayor William Foresythe says the city has been borrowing a fire truck from the Kennett Fire Department for the past few months. Due to not having a city-owned truck in operation, Mayor Foresythe says the city council voted 4-0 at the last council meeting to limit the area in which firefighters respond.

"The truck that we had got to the point where it was beyond repair," he said. "We don't feel like that we need to go too far out or take a chance with this borrowed truck."

"The council has decided to go basically to a three-mile radius."

Firefighters cannot answer calls any farther west than Highway K, any farther north than Cotton Plant on Highway 164, and any farther south than the state line.

"We're going so far out to Reeves, Gosnell (Arkansas) if we have to. We went to Octa to a gin fire. We need to reign it back in because the citizens of Hornersville are paying for the truck and the services, the gas and everything else, and we don't need to go too far out and have a situation in Hornersville where we need to be here."

Fireman and first responder Terry Vaughn thinks the new policy is bad for public safety.

"From what I understand the rule was if we go past these boundaries, we are liable for the gas and stuff we use, and many of our fire department members have already discussed it. If that's what we got to do we'll pay for the gas because we think we need to be there on the scene to help others.",

Vaughn says it also hurts the fire department because the three to five calls a year that firefighters respond to outside Hornersville pay for community events and department necessities.

"Christmas for Kids, The Haunting, which we're doing now, and also supplies for our guys, like gloves that we need for the fires, medical supplies," he said. "Three to five calls at $500 a call, that's how much we may lose a year."

Mayor Foresythe says the council will continue to discuss the new rule.

"We're not going to turn anybody down but we are going to work it out to where we can't go everywhere."

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