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Hancock Rescue Squad members request funding for new gear

One of the newest members of the Hancock County Rescue Squad, Mike Cartwright, spoke on behalf of all squad members at the Hancock County Fiscal Court meeting on Monday morning, November 13th, asking for new gear as well as materials for remodeling one of the areas at the station into a much needed locker room for storing their gear.

Hancock County Rescue Squad training—
On November 4th and 5th first responders from every department in Hancock County came together to train on Large Farm Rescue and Low Angle Rescue. The training was provided by the Kentucky Fire Commission and the school is organized by the Hancock County Emergency Services Association. Lunch was provided by Southwire and Commonwealth Rolled Products each day.

“We need new gear to keep us safe and to protect us while we’re on scenes,” Cartwright said. “We had a gear guy come out about a month ago and he gave us, roughly, a quote of $2K per person (for 12 members), and that covers us from head to toe.

Part of the gear is for blood-borne pathogens, for if there is a patient bleeding, during the point of extraction that keeps it off of us. The other problem we have is that our gear is basically sitting on the floor and that creates a deterioration problem over the period of 10 years that it is supposed to last us.

The solution is, we have 576 square feet that is not being used that we can turn into a locker room, where each one of our members can use to keep our gear off of the floor.

Initially, if you had a general contractor come out it would cost roughly $70-80K. We’re asking for half of that, to help pay for the gear and pay for the supplies (construction materials). We’ve talked about this amongst ourselves as members and we’re going to go in and do the work ourselves. That cuts half your cost. At $40K, we’re able to buy the materials and buy the gear for 12 members. There are 25 members on the roster, but the state minimum requires gear for 12 members.”

Judge-Executive Johnny “Chic” Roberts asked them to bring an itemized list of materials they need for the remodel, as well as one more quote for the gear, before the approval is made.

The estimated cost of gear for 12 Rescue Squad members, according to the first quote, is $24K.  The cost of materials for remodeling is estimated at between $10K-$12K, with squad members doing the work themselves, which is what they want to do and stated that they know it will give them a sense of pride in it, as well as motivating them to take care of it and keep it clean.

Two of the squad members are contractors and will oversee the project to make sure it is done correctly.

EMA Report

“We had a good training last week when we had our annual school,” Director of Emergency Management Kyle Veach said. “We had between 35 and 40 people there each day. The state provided training and the fire departments donated the hours. The lunches were sponsored by Southwire & Commonwealth so we had a beautiful weekend with a lot of good training and a lot of good exercise scenarios.

Most of Eastern Kentucky is in a 100 percent fire ban. Eastern Kentucky is being hit really hard right now; they have a network coming in to help fight the wild fire there. This week a lot more counties will be going into a fire ban. We had a field fire last night, and we had one last week so we’re seeing an uptick here in the county.”

(KY Forest Fire Hazard Seasons are: October 1st-December 15th, and February 15th- April 30th. No burning before 6 p.m.  For more information, please visit:

Road Dept. Report

The mower the fiscal court ordered has now arrived and being put to good use after a long wait for delivery.

Hancock County Road Department Crewman John Marvel reported, “We’ve got both routes mowing right now. We’re starting to get all of the trucks lined up for winter and servicing those, making sure everything is working and ready to go. The log jams – as fast as we tear the dams out, they build them back and then over on Sandhill Road, we’ve got a real mess there.

We’re hoping to take the excavator over there tomorrow and mostly get that bridge unclogged. Some of the logs in there, wherever they came from, were 40 feet long and they’ve wedged underneath. Other than that, we’re getting ready for winter.”

 Senior Services Report

“We have a new computer program we are learning,” Program Director for Hancock County Senior Services Lona Morton said. “We’re trying to keep the seniors busy and active. We’ve taken a few trips and done some educational things. I’ve also attended trainings in September and October.”

Animal Shelter Report

“I had told Shelter Supporters that we’re not going to do the addition,” County Dog Warden and Director of the Hancock County Animal Shelter Ronnie York said. “We’re talking about getting one of those storage buildings like across from the Patio, that has dog kennels. I just have to get the pricing and then get with you guys for insurance purposes.” Roberts asked York to get some quotes.

Occupational Tax Report

“Year to date is $1,762,866. That’s down a little bit from last year,” Roberts said.

Treasurer’s Report

Hancock County Treasurer Melissa Johnson’s report was approved. “As of this date,” Roberts said, “before we pay the bills today: $9,807,403. That’s up from $9,771,385 this time last year.”

By Jennifer Wimmer

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