FIRE OF 1913
On Wednesday, September 3, 1913, Taylorsville experienced a disaster. A dust of fire broke out in the Reynolds Blacksmith Shop at the present location owned by Steve Goodlett on Main Cross Street; the flames spread towards the square through I.W. Beauchamp’s lumberyards (now planning and zoning offices) to Main Street through Felix Greenwell’s Grocery Store where Red Scooter now stands, east on main continuing through Allen’s hotel almost to Bloomfield Road.
The next morning an entirely unrelated fire broke out on the north side of Main Street when a bakery coal oil stove exploded. The bakery stood at the present location of the Florist Shop. Flames spread west and burned a livery stable, the present location of Valley Productions, and east all the way to the town square. The old red brick courthouse was completely burned. At this point in time, there was no fire department or water system and the only means of firefighting was with buckets of water. All the records of the courthouse were saved.
Later that year a municipal water system was installed which consisted of a pumping station, an open pond reservoir on the school hill and a network of pipe which reached only to the fire hydrant at the intersection of Main Street and Main Cross Street.
OCTOBER 16, 1913
Taylorsville Fire Department was established and plans for a water plant started. On this day, there was also a big demonstration of a fire engine held in the center of the town.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1914
The Water Works plant was completed.
AUGUST 10, 1915
The City Fire Zone was enacted by the Town of Taylorsville Trustees.
NOVEMBER 20, 1915
The Fire Department Inspection Program was put in service by the Town of Taylorsville.
JANUARY 2, 1917
A City County Agreement was made to use city fire hose to assist in building a county road.
MARCH 4, 1937
The Town of Taylorsville spent $1.00 to wash the fire truck.
JUNE 3, 1937
The Town of Taylorsville approved to install a toilet at the fire station.
FEBRUARY 25, 1947
Charles Spears became the Fire Chief for the Town of Taylorsville.
Establishment of Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
Tom Snider Sr. had a problem: his farmhouse was on fire. But Snider also had another problem, being there was no county fire department. Snider could not wait for neighbors for help, so he called Charles Spears, the Chief of the City Taylorsville Fire Department. Chief Spears told Mr. Snider that he could not bring the fire truck out there because it was strictly a city operated department, but he said he would take some men and do what he could. Armed with just simple fire extinguishers, Spears and his volunteers put Snider’s fire out. Snider later said they saved his house. Spears then led the charge to establish the Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department during a time when he served as Chief of the City Department.
The Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department, Incorporated formed in 1953 and was staffed by the same men that served the Taylorsville Fire Department. The new department began providing fire protection services for the residents of Spencer County in January of 1954 from a station provided by the City of Taylorsville. The department’s funding was derived through private donations and yearly membership dues by the residents of Spencer County, which were used to purchase the first truck, a 1953 Chevrolet Pumper for $6,945.93. The department began service operating on $536.30 for its first year.
Due to a lack of fire hydrants throughout Spencer County, in 1972, nineteen years after the inception of the department, was the Spencer County Fire Department able to purchase its second truck, a 1965 gas truck that was refitted to carry water and serve as a tanker. This second truck was purchased by means of private donations and membership dues by the residents of Spencer County.
Still operating with its first truck, now a 24-year-old pumper, the Spencer County Fire Department took receipt of a 1977 Ford 750 GPM Pumper, purchased by the Spencer County Fiscal Court.
Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. began service out of its second station in Elk Creek. Mr. Bill Tipton, a member of the fire department board, built the station with his own funds on land that he donated to the department. Over the next five years, the department repaid him for the building interest free.
Also in that same year, a 1953 Ford 500 GPM Pumper was donated by the Middletown Fire Department for use in Station 2.
The Spencer County Fire Department purchased a 1958 Ford Pumper from Buechel Fire Department (now Fern Creek Fire Department) to be placed at Station 2 at a cost of $5,000.00. Funding for the purchase was through donations and membership dues. This truck replaced the 1953 Ford Pumper in Elk Creek, which was removed from service.
In the same year, the 1953 Chevrolet Pumper was removed from service and sold.
Organization of the Spencer County Fire Protection District Est. 1993
Around 1990, unable to attain the goal of building fire stations and providing adequate fire protection throughout Spencer County for reduced insurance ratings for the residents on an approximate $12,000.00 annual budget (State Aid, membership dues, and private donations), discussion began on the formation of a fire-taxing district. This continued until April 1993 and in that period, board members and firefighters worked to obtain the necessary petitions and signatures as required by law to form a fire-taxing district. This information was presented to Spencer County Fiscal Court, where advocates for the proposed Spencer County Fire Protection District submitted their plan of service for fire protection.
The initial boundaries of the fire district were to be within five road miles of the existing fire stations in Taylorsville and Elk Creek because of the lowered insurance ratings that residents of those areas received. The goals of the fire district were to expand and build fire stations in Waterford, Little Mount, and Wakefield within five years to provide fire protection services and lower insurance ratings to the vast majority of residents in Spencer County. Other goals of the proposed district were to provide a fire prevention program in area schools, maintain firefighter training and equipment, and fire inspections for businesses and residents in Spencer County.
The Spencer County Fiscal Court approved the establishment of the Spencer County Fire Protection District within five road miles of the Taylorsville and Elk Creek fire stations, for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1993. From the outset, the goals of the fire protection district were as proposed to the Spencer County Fiscal Court.
AUGUST 17, 1993
The Lake Dreamland Fire Protection District donated a 1963 International Custom Cab 1000 GPM Pumper to the newly organized Spencer County Fire Protection District. It replaced the 1958 Ford Pumper at Station 2 in Elk Creek.
OCTOBER 19, 1993
The Fire District purchased a 1964 Ford 750 GPM Pumper from Jeffersontown Fire Protection District for $3,000.00. This unit was purchased with intentions of placing it in a third fire station.
The Spencer County Fire Protection District held a public hearing to receive comments from citizens on the district’s plan to annex the remainder of the Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department’s incorporated area. Chairman Glen Goebel stated that there were insufficient funds to provide needed services to the entire area covered by the Incorporation, without annexing that area into the fire district. An annexation petition was filed with Spencer Court Fiscal Court and approved on December 5, 1994. Although the annexation was approved on that date, the district would not receive tax revenue from that area until the 1995-1996 fiscal year.
FEBRUARY 21, 1995
The Spencer County Fire Protection District Board of Trustee’s approved the construction of a new 1800-gallon stainless steel tanker, which was mounted on a 1986 international Chassis for a cost of $20,000.00. This unit replaced the aging Ford tanker.
The Jeffersontown Fire Protection District donated a 1975 Dodge Mini-Pumper, which was put into service for field fire and automobile accident responses.
JULY 6, 1995
The Spencer County Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. dissolved its corporation and turned all assets over to the Spencer County Fire Protection District.
JULY 18, 1995
Steve and Linda Tichenor donated 1.5-acre tract of land for the Spencer County Fire Protection District to build its third station in the community of Waterford. This station was built for $48,000.00 and funded by a 3% interest loan through the Kentucky Fire Commission. The 1964 Ford Pumper went into service at this station. The station assumed full service in August 1996.
Due to increased run volume, administration, and growth, the district hired its first full-time employee, Assistant Chief Nathan Nation.
Chief John Nation recommended replacing the 1963 Howle International Pumper and the 1964 Ford Pumper.
The Board of Trustee’s approved for Chief Nation and other Board members to go to Pennsylvania to view used fire apparatus for sale.
MAY 13, 1996
The Board of Trustee’s approved Chief Nation and Trustee Tom Graves recommendation to buy a 1983 Ford 1000 GPM Pumper and a 1980 Seagraves 1250 GPM Pumper for $100,000.00. The 1983 Ford 1000 GPM Pumper replaced the 1964 Ford in Station 2, which was sold to the Anderson County Fire Department for $5,000.00. The 1980 Seagraves replaced the 1977 Ford Pumper in Station 1. The 1977 Ford Pumper would be reassigned to Station 4 upon completion.
DECEMBER 9, 1996
Doug Goodlett and John Canassel donated a 1-acre tract of land in Little Mount for the District to build its fourth station.
JANUARY 13, 1997
Assistant Chief Nathan Nation submitted a video presentation on ISO requirements and rural water supply operations. By meeting these requirements, the district would be able to lower insurance ratings from Class 9 and 10 to a Class 6/7, which would lower insurance ratings. The Board of Trustee’s approved for Assistant Chief Nation to pursue meeting the ISO objectives to lower insurance ratings.
FEBRUARY 10, 1997
The Board of Trustee’s approved the purchase of a 1988 International Chassis and a 1989 International Chassis, along with the building and purchasing of two tanks for two additional tankers. Assistant Chief Nation recommended this to meet the objective to lower insurance ratings. The two tankers were placed in service at Stations 2 and 3 in August 1997.
The Board of Trustee’s accepted a bid of $44,341.00 to construct its fourth fire station into the Little Mount community. This station went into full service in the fall of 1997.
JUNE 9, 1997
The Spencer County Fire Protection District purchased a 24’ boat from the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers for $500.00. The boat was equipped with a 250 GPM pump and is utilized for fire suppression and water rescue incidents.
AUGUST 11, 1997
The Spencer County Fire Protection District approved to place hydraulic rescue equipment (commonly known as the Jaws of Life) into service to provide additional services to the fire district. This equipment was placed into service in Stations 1-3 and were funded by the district, the City of Taylorsville, and donations from the Volunteer Firefighters Association.
OCTOBER 16, 1997
Firefighters for the Spencer County Fire Protection District were evaluated by the Insurance Service Office on their ability to maintain specific standards for rural water supply through tanker shuttle operations. Firefighters successfully completed the task and the district was verbally approved for a protection Class 6 or 7, which would reduce homeowners’ insurance for property owners living within the district 50-70% annually.
The Spencer County Fire Protection District signed a lease for land with property owner Gene Herndon to build a station in the Wakefield area.
Construction of a fifth fire station began at a cost of $38,000.00 on the leased premises in Wakefield.
The Board of Trustee’s approved $31,000.00 to build the district’s fifth tanker and purchase a 1972 Ward-Lafrance Pumper. These units were to be placed in the Wakefield station upon completion.
OCTOBER 12, 1998
The Board of Trustee’s approved the purchase of a 1977 Mack Pumper from St. Matthews Fire Protection District at a cost of $15,000.00 to replace the 1961 International Pumper.
The district began working with Spencer County EMS and Jewish Hospital-Shelbyville (currently called UofL Hospital-Shelbyville) to provide “Automatic Emergency Defibrillator” service to the residents of the district, which were put in service by January 2000. At that time, all firefighters had emergency First-Responder training along with fire suppression and rescue training.
The fire district purchased a 2-acre tract of land to construct a new fire station for $100,000.00 to replace the existing building used for a Station 1.
A second full time firefighter was hired: Sgt. Kurtis Brooks.
A fire hydrant agreement was completed with the City of Taylorsville which allowed fire hydrants to be set within Spencer County.
The Ridgeview Fire District was merged with the Spencer County Fire Protection District, lowering tax rates for those in the old Ridgeview District.
Spencer County Fiscal Court approve a fire hydrant law to require fire hydrants on all new water mains.
During this month, the fire district also awarded a bid to KME for an International 1250/1000, 4 door pumper for $143,245 (Engine 5731). The board also approve $28,906 for Unit 5791 a Ford F-350 service/field unit.
The Spencer County Fire Protection District was assigned the duties of the Spencer County Rescue Squad by Spencer County Fiscal Court. The district now will provide auto extrication and water rescue, among other rescue duties. This merger reduced the number of needed responders on emergency scenes.
The department started its first newsletter. This newsletter was mailed to citizens of the community to inform them of the department’s operations and fire prevention efforts.
The district started a volunteer firefighter live-in program. This program allows firefighters to live in the fire station for free and the firefighter agrees to respond to calls and helps operate the station.
The fire district was awarded a $9,005 FEMA grant to buy basic firefighting equipment.
After the 9/11 attack, firefighters raised $18,500 for the New York 911 Fund.
The fire district purchased its first self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) fill station.
The fire district purchased a 2000 Dodge Durango for a new chief’s vehicle.
The Board of Trustees approved the lease for the new station #5 located in Ashes Creek.
The Board of Trustees approved $41,030 to build station #6 located in Little Union.
The Board of Trustees approved $9,005 to buy the department’s first thermal imaging camera.
The fire district purchased 22 used self-contained breathing apparatus for $13,400 to replace some that were over 20 years old.
The fire district purchased a new set of auto extrication tools totaling $16,705. The first new set ever purchased.
During this month, the ISO rate was lowered from a Class 6 to Class 4 in the city. The class also dropped from a Class 7 to Class 6 in the county.
The department was awarded a $25,000 FEMA Grant for a fire prevention safety house.
The Louisville Fire Department donated a vehicle for the TSCFD to us as a swift water rescue unit.
The new Station #1 opened on Water Street. The building is 9,280 sq feet and holds 10 vehicles. There are also dorms, offices, a kitchen, a training room and a radio room.
The department purchased two used 1987 Ford Pumpers for $45,000 to replace a 1972 Ward LaFrance and a 1976 Mack.
The department purchased a new set of auto extrication equipment for station #2.
The TFD and SCFPD purchased two new Ferrara rescue pumpers for $221,000 each.
During this month, the department purchased a boat designed for swift water rescue and the proper personal protective equipment.
The department added a new 2007 Alumacraft boat to its fleet to service Taylorsville Lake.
The department ordered its second thermal imaging camera.
The department added a used 1991 Ford Pumper to replace a 1977 E-One.
The fire district awarded a bid to Bluegrass Tank and Equipment to build a new 2,250-gallon Kenworth Tanker.
A new radio system installed along with 3-new AED’s.
The fire district purchased 9 sets of new personal protective equipment.
The fire district approved to upgrade the swift water and dive truck, as well as purchase a new chief’s vehicle.
The department approved to upgrade 5791 and order a new skid unit.
An Interlocal agreement was made to merge city fire with county fire protection district.
During this month, the fire district also awarded a bid to Bluegrass fire apparatus for $152,000 to for a new tanker (Tanker 5764).
The fire district donated a surplus tanker (old 5764) to Spencer County Fiscal Court. This was a 1985 International.
The fire district approved funds to expand the live-in area at station #3 (Waterford).
The fire district board approved to start looking for land to build a new station #2. The lot was closed on in August of 2009 for $60,000.
The Board of Trustees approved to declare Engine 5735 surplus property. This was a 1983 Ford/Grumman.
The fire district awarded a bid of $245,717 to Lyca Construction to build station #2.
The fire district assisted county government in writing a $86,133 communication grant which was awarded.
The board also approved $2,500 to build a firefighter safety and survival prop.
The fire district was awarded a grant from Wal-Mart for 100 smoke alarms.
The board approved to donate the 1983 Ford/Grumman Engine to the Breeding Fire Department in Adair County.
The board also approved to take out a construction loan for $325,000 for station #2.
The fire district purchased a turbo draft for rural water supply operations.
The fire district assisted county government in writing a $30,000 communication grant which was awarded.
Chief Nation presented the 911 Report which was be forwarded to fiscal court with plans to move 911 service to the Kentucky State Police.
The fire district was awarded a FEMA grant for a gear washer, supply hose, and an air compressor fill station. The total award was $68,000.
The county had about $110,000 that they planned to spend on installing 15 new fire hydrants.
OCTOBER 10, 2010
An open house was held for the new station #2 in Elk Creek.
Unit 5792, the 1998 Ford Sedan, was declared surplus property by the Board of Trustees.
The board approved to buy a 2011 Ford 150 to be assigned to the Assistant Fire Chief, Richard Morris.
The board approved a MOU communication agreement with the City of Taylorsville.
The board paid off the loan for Engine 5734 early, with a balance of $97,000.
The board reviewed an apparatus replacement plan. After review, the board approved to sell the 1993 Boardman Quint. The board sold the truck for $45,000.
The board approved the new rules for Jr. Firefighters.
The board approved to take RFP’s for a new quint.
The board opened bids for the new quint. A bid was awarded for $580,000 and a lease agreement was approved for $594,000.
The board approved $4,536 in change orders for the new quint.