‘We’re a family’ Sunshine Fire Dept. announces new station

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Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:42 PM EDT
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HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - After over a decade of setbacks, the Sunshine Fire Department in Harlan has announced the construction of a new station.

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman was in attendance to hand the $750,000 check in state and federal grant money to Sunshine Fire Department Chief Steven Hatfield. Money that was needed for the project to finally break ground.

“It means a lot. I’m real emotional. I’ve been with this department since I was 15 years old and it’s just a family and that’s just the way we operate and it’s real close to my heart what we’re getting to do here.” said Hatfield.

For over a decade, people with the Sunshine Fire Department have been working on grants and funding to get a new station. Ashley Hatfield, the Assistant Chief with the Sunshine Fire Department, had her boots on the ground from the beginning.

“There’s been numerous hours of paper work, ground work that we had to do as far as surveys, household surveys to take to do to complete the grant. It’s been 13 years of hard dedicated work.” She said.

The new 6,500 square foot station will cover the most area of any station in Harlan County and will have enough space to house the department’s eight emergency vehicles, as well as room to clean and maintain them.

The new station will also have space for training. Something Harlan County Judge Executive recognizes the importance of.

“With fire service, there’s a lot of training that goes into that. They have no space in their current space to do training, never have.” He said. “But, still, they’ve maintained one of the highest participation rates in the county, and that’s amazing given what they’ve done.”

The $750,000 in funding comes from the Community Development Block Grant. It will pay for roughly 80% of the total cost of the station.

Officials say they hope to have the station completed in around one year’s time.

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