A study to review White County’s need for a countywide fire department should begin as soon as next month.
Commissioner Stanley Neal and a Steering Committee are putting together a sub-committee to conduct a community impact study. He said a countywide fire department could help a growing community.
“We have more growth, more homes,” Neal said. “It’s become harder and harder to have the volunteers that we need to be able to get county departments to fully cover our residences.”
The study will include reviewing call volume numbers, how much establishing a county wide fire department could cost, employing full time positions versus part time, and equipment costs. Neal said White County could face a lot of up front costs because they are starting from scratch. A motion to conduct the study earlier this year was considered, but Neal said COVID-19 pushed it to this month.
“We’re going to look at this again through this study and just see if it’s viable for our county,” Neal said. “It may or it may not be, but this will only supplement our department. It’s kind of the way it was envisioned, and the county won’t just take over our county [volunteer] fire departments.”
Neal said sub-committee nominations will take place in November. He said the study should begin soon after and could take up to four months to complete.
There are nine volunteer fire departments throughout White County.