Polk Co. First Responders Raise Money for New Fire Station

OCOEE, Tenn. (WDEF) — Some volunteer firefighters in western Polk County are having to do their jobs as first responders without a fire station.

West Polk Fire & Rescue’s Ocoee station and two fire trucks, were destroyed by a deadly EF-3 tornado last month.

Firefighters have made progress cleaning up, but their recovery efforts are just beginning.

“That’s why we started the GoFundMe account because we didn’t have any insurance on the building. We had insurance on the vehicles,” said Henry Harden, volunteer firefighter.

So far an anonymous donor from Kentucky donated a new truck, but firefighters still need a place to keep the vehicles.

“Just waiting on TEMA and FEMA to see what they’re gonna do, and basically right now we’re just having to do things on our own, and see where we can go from there,” Harden said.

Firefighters say they’ll start fundraising even more after the holidays – sending letters to residents, and seeking corporate and private donors.

For now, they’re working out of other nearby stations in Oldfort and Benton, both five miles away.

“Our response time’s still going to be about the same, so there’s not going to be any issue with coverage ’cause you have the two stations to come together and cover this district here,” Harden said.

It’s their camaraderie getting these firefighters through this difficult time.

“We’re a close group of guys and ladies and you know, we stick together. We’ll overcome it.”

Harden says they hope to rebuild in the same location.

He says it could be several months before it happens, but it depends on money.

If you’d like to help, go here: https://www.gofundme.com/342cfw0.

 

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