Insurance costs and low donations have forced a local emergency unit to temporarily shut down.
As of 8:30 p.m., Thursday, the Clay County Search and Rescue board of directors announced it would be closing its doors and would remain out of service until further notice.
"We hate this. We live here and have friends and family in this community," CCSR Board Member TJ Modesitt said. "This isn't easy. We worry about what citizens in a time of need or in a medical crisis are going to do when other departments are busy or local ambulances are transporting patients."
Although the county provides some financial support to the CCSR, most of the funds necessary to cover the daily operating costs come from donations. Tough economic times and ever-increasing expenditures have hit the organization hard.
According to Indiana statute, CCSR is required to cover the 15 active volunteers with health/medical/life insurance and workman's comp along with vehicle and liability insurance, of which more than $2,500 in premiums were due Wednesday.
The organization also owes approximately $500 in outstanding basic utilities and other miscellaneous bills.
Board members hope the community will realize it's a small price to pay for the services provided by the volunteer organization.
CCSR has responded to approximately 400-450 requests for assistance so far this year, including help with medical runs, accidents and extrication assistance, mutual aide for other local emergency and law enforcement departments, traffic control at community events, storm clean up and various other calls.
"If we were toned out, we responded," CCSR Board Member Dave Watson said.
Without the necessary insurance, Watson told The Brazil Times the volunteer organization could not continue to operate in good conscious.
"We're down right now, but we're not out," Watson said. "We can still raise money so we can get the doors opened again."