Versailles firefighters, town council members, break ground for new fire station

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

The site of the new Versailles Fire Station was cause for celebration recently as members of the Versailles Fire Department and the town council gathered for a ground breaking ceremony. The new station will be located just south of Versailles on US 421.

According to information from Ben Sieverding, second assistant chief, the new station will serve the citizens of Versailles and the surrounding areas well into the future. The department is the busiest in the county, according to Sieverding, who said they responded to 457 emergency calls in 2007 and 384 emergency calls in 2008.

The new station will have eight bays for emergency vehicles, office areas, radio room, kitchen, storage, training room, maintenance room, restroom and shower facilities, day room, workout area, and sleeping areas for future growth.

Sieverding noted that the construction of the new facility is being made possible through financial help from the Town of Versailles, Johnson Township, and the donation of land from the Ripley County Commissioners. The Versailles Volunteer Fire Department has also received some grant money for this project: $350,000 Community Focus Fund Grant; $50,000 grant from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation, and a $5,000 grant from the Ripley County Community Foundation. The department is grateful for the grants, which they say have made the new station a reality.

The Poole Group of Dillsboro, has been awarded the construction contract. Sebree Architects Inc., Indianapolis, has been chosen to design the project and will provide project management.

“The Versailles Volunteer Fire Department is committed to providing the very best in emergency services to the citizens of our community and appreciates the community’s continued support,” noted Sieverding.

Donations to the building project can be made at Integra Bank branches and are greatly appreciated. Sieverding says, “If you would like to serve your community, make a positive difference in people’s lives and become part of the brotherhood of the fire service, join us.”

Anyone interested in joining the department can call 812-689-5222 or stop by the current fire station (on Washington Street) and pick up an application. You can also visit the department website at:

The fire department’s mission statement reads in part, “We will serve our community unselfishly to preserve their lives and property. The firefighters of the Versailles Fire Department will provide fire protection, emergency extrication, technical rope rescue, BLS emergency medical service, fire prevention education and many other services when our community is in need.”

The group strives to live up to their mission statement and can be found teaching in area schools, training on weekends, and serving chicken dinners, to further the cause of helping others.

Pictured are members of the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department, along with Versailles Town Council members Sue Meisberger and DeeDee Benkie, who were on hand for the official ground breaking ceremony for the new Versailles Fire Station.