Lynn Hamilton photo
On July 15, the Poland Community Volunteer Fire Department hosted the monthly board meeting for the Clay County Community Foundation and showed off their newly installed auxiliary power and lighting system for their pumper truck.
The emergency lighting system was purchased with a community foundation grant of $5,150. The Poland Community Volunteer Fire Department was awarded this money based on their grant application submitted in 2002.
In the grant application, Joe Conley noted that the difficulties faced at emergency scenes were numerous.
Usually, headlights and flashlights had been their only means of illumination. The new emergency lighting system will provide high intensity floodlights that will illuminate the entire emergency scene. It will provide AC power for extrication equipment and power tools.
The grant covers the complete installation of the system.
The Poland Community Volunteer Fire Department was founded in the early 1960s to provide rural fire service to the areas surrounding Poland and Bowling Green, Ind.
Prior to the creation of the Poland VFD, fire service was virtually nonexistent. Clay City, Cloverdale, and Brazil were the closest fire departments.
Currently the Poland Community VFD provides fire service to four townships and approximately 2000 residents.
In 2001 the department made 125 responses to 911 emergencies.
The township trustees support the fire department through allocations. But the additional money needed to support the Poland Community VFD comes from fundraising events such as fish fries, community sales and donations.
All the members of the Poland Fire Department are volunteers; there are no paid employees. The governing body consists of a board; Stan Frank serves as president, Tricia Gray is secretary, and Joe Conley Sr. is treasurer.
Marvin Strauch, Freddie Reed, Craig Nees, Gary Neese, and Jim Rich serve as the Board of Directors. Brad Allen is the Fire Chief.
The Clay County Community Foundation Board members enjoyed food prepared by Lucy Strauch and served by the firefighters. The CCCF Board members learned valuable lessons about the needs of Clay County's volunteer fire departments and the Poland firefighters enjoyed the opportunity to tell their story.