It's been a long time coming for the Shelbyville Fire Department. In April of last year.. a fire destroyed thousands of dollars worth of gear. After months of community fundraising, they were presented with a check for $10,000 Wednesday, and the team is..
" ..speechless. It's hard to express how we feel because it's so exciting and new," said firefighter Kim Hecker."
Last year, an oil well fire left the team's gear un-usable.
"We believe it was a lightening strike, that.. during a bad rainstorm, struck an oil battery southeast of Shelbyville setting off a fire in one of the tanks which eventually exploded," said Fire Chief Gary Lynch.
During battle, the team's uniforms were drenched with oil and other debris. Word got out.. and within a couple months.. help came knocking.
"I coordinate a balloonfest at Lake Shelbyville and during the glow portion we always do a cookout type fundraiser, said Kevin Bernson, a member of the Shelby Electric Cooperative. "And an employee of the cooperative.. her husband works at the fire-department and said that due to a big fire they just went to.. a lot of their clothes got ruined by fuel or oil or something that got on their gear that made it very unsafe."
So the team cooked.. and sold more plates than they imagined.
"We had probably over 6 to 7 thousand people come out to this cookout glow," said Bernson. "Shelbyville's population is just under 5 thousand so we had people coming from all over the area. We were able to match the fundraising donation to get 10 thousand dollars to go towards this equipment."