Versailles VFD to have open house

Wanda English Burnett

The public is invited to an open house at the new Versailles fire station on Saturday, June 19 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The new facility is located at 1869 S. Industrial Park Road, Versailles (south on US 421).

According to Chief Ben Sieverding, the facility was made possible by many donations, fundraising and continuing fundraising activities by the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department.

The department is thankful to the many donors including (but not limited to): a Community Focus Fund Grant, Rising Sun Regional Foundation, Ripley County Community Foundation, Ripley County Commissioners, Town of Versailles, Johnson Township, Mike Holman Excavating, Lowes of Madison, Gilpin Signs and Monuments, Tom Moore, Joe Halcomb Family, Friendship State Bank, Demaree Trucking, Southeastern Career Building Trades program, and the many who donate at the department boot drives.

The new facility leaves room for expansion with its eight truck bays, maintenance room, meeting/training room, two offices, kitchen/day area, fitness room, bathrooms/showers, and additional space for bunk areas if needed in the future. “This station will serve the Versailles community for many years to come and will provide the capability to grow as our community continues to grow,” noted Sieverding.

He invites the public to stop by and see the new facility and meet their volunteer firefighters. He also invites those who might be interested in joining their team to “come join us and help serve your community as a volunteer firefighter.”

Sieverding says the Versailles department has been the busiest in the county for the past five years, including 409 emergency calls in 2009 and 170 emergency calls to date in 2010. “This takes a tremendous amount of commitment from these volunteers and does not include the countless hours spent on training and maintaining the equipment,” noted Sieverding.

Besides Chief Sieverding, the other members are: Jamie Vest, assistant chief; Chuck Gunter, Adam Hunger, Alex Hafft, captains; Randy Hornsby, Dwight Bauman, and Matt Wright, lieutenants; Rob Cole, Brian Jackson, Gary Back, Sean Furlow, Pete Holcomb, Josh Cumberworth, Derick Holcomb, Sean Guenther, Bryan Buchanan, Jeremy Moore, Jim Hartman, Chris Richmond, Zach Halcomb, and Abe Hildebrand, firefighters.

All are volunteers who provide fire protection, technical rope rescue, EMS first response, auto extrication, and many other services to the Versailles and surrounding communities.