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Thursday, April 19, 2018

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The first equipment used was a tank mounted on a cart pulled by a Model T Ford. The tank was filled with a foam solution. Firemen were volunteers.

The second equipment was an old International Pumper fire truck, with siren and red light, that had a capacity of three hundred fifty gallons.

A more modern 1950 Chevrolet fire truck was put into use after Hardin had city water available (August 1949). This tank has a capacity of five hundred gallons, with mounted pumps and is being used at the present time.

The Rural Fire Association was organized December 3, 1952. A Chevrolet fire truck with a five hundred capacity was purchased. This equipment has an auxiliary pump to get water our of ponds, rivers or wells. Both trucks are housed at the city storage garage at the corner of Front and Second streets. Both city and rural fire organizations have found it to their mutual convenience to share garage facilities and fire fighting equipment. An arrangement between the Rural Fire Association and the city of Hardin makes it possible to use the rural truck when needed as additional equipment at a city fire. There is a meeting of voluntary firemen on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. To call the firemen out for action, on blast denotes the fire is in the east ward, two blasts for the west ward and three blasts for rural call.

--Hardin Centennial 1870-1970

General Information

Sometime during 1925 a volunteer fire department was formed for the city of Hardin. Details of equipment are listed above. A rural association was formed in 1952 for the outlying rural area. The city fire department was funded primarily from city general fund dollars. The rural association was funded by yearly dues paid by those who lived or owned land in the rural district. In the 1960s the rural association contracted with the city for fire response. In this way all of the volunteer firemen could be covered by the cities' workers compensation policy and all equipment would housed and used together. Once a year the rural association met and paid half of the fire department's yearly expenses. This agreement benefited both parties and things went along until the 1990s. With fire equipment getting exorbitantly expensive and with fewer rural members funding for the department began to stretch both of the entities' budgets. The volunteer firemen found themselves having to do fundraisers to be able to purchase basic firefighting gear.

The Rural Association decided the time was now to create a tax supported Fire Protection District. On November 3rd, 1998 an issue was put on the ballot to create such a district. It passed with a more than 2 to 1 majority. The handout we used to inform our constituents what we proposed is attached. We found out after the election that we had created a district, but had not provided for funding. This was due to a miscommunication of the ballot language. We went back to the people on April 6th, 1999 to ask them to support our tax levy. To our relief, it also passed by a substantial majority. We received our first tax levy money in February of 2000. The largest portion of the money is set aside to upgrade our primary fire trucks. We also provide insurance for our volunteer firefighters and equipment. We have budgeted a small portion of the dollars to upgrading other equipment as we go along.

With the creation of Hardin Fire Protection District, the rural association was disbanded, the city and the volunteer firemen turned over all equipment to the new district. An elected board of directors guides the district.

Volunteer firefighters are now alerted to a fire or medical emergency via pagers from the Ray County 911 Dispatch Center. The firefighters are now meeting twice a month, the first and third Thursdays. The first Thursday of the month is a business and training meeting and the third Thursday of the month is a training meeting.

Each year during the Hardin SkeeterFest, the volunteer firefighters host the Beer Garden and the Fish Fry. Money from these events goes into firefighter training, equipment, and meals. The firefighters also sponsor a one year scholarship for a graduating senior from Hardin-Central High School. Each year a fire prevention demonstration is held for grades K-6 at Hardin Elementary School. We have also scheduled CPR classes, Life Flight fly-ins, and motor vehicle accident re-enactments.

 

Reminder
Change your smoke detector batteries every time the clock "springs ahead" or "falls back". Most smoke detectors recommend that you use Alkaline batteries.

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