Milton Fire & Rescue rebuilds after March 2nd tornado


by Johnny Archer

Posted on August 11, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 11 at 7:01 PM

(WHAS11) -- The sound of fish frying is a sound volunteer firefighters are happy to hear again at the Milton Fire and Rescue District, because frying fish is their main source of income.

“It makes up pretty much all of our income,” said Milton Fire and Rescue Chief Jason Long. “We can’t not have a fish fry because there is no other way [to survive financially]. We don’t get taxes.”

But on March 2nd, that was quickly taken away.

“I pulled up and it was gone,” said Long. “I really didn’t know what to think.”

A tornado ripped station #2 apart, destroyed a fire truck and wiped out their fish fry trailer.

“We found out after the tornado that we didn’t have proper coverage [for the trailer],” said Long. “So we were wondering what we were going to do to survive because that pays for everything.”

The department has an operating budget of about $96,000 per year. They rely on donations and the possible $52,000 earnings they can make from selling fried fish each weekend.

With a generous $40,000 donation from LG&E, they were able to buy a new fish fry trailer. The insurance paid for a new fire truck and they were able to rebuild the station.

But things are still tough for the 10-person volunteer fire station after Trimble County cut $8,000 from their funding two months after the tornado hit, serving as a new challenge for the district.

Milton Fire and Rescue serves about 3,500 people in their district. Plus, they assist the Bedford Fire Department, covering all of Trimble County, which is about 150 square miles.

The Chief Long says they have already reached nearly 140 calls this year, which are about 20 more calls than the record number they’ve had in the past.