Fire departments across the region help keep kids cool during heatwave

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials in the cities of Paintsville and Corbin were looking for a way to beat this summer heatwave and got creative, partnering with local fire departments to give kids the ultimate sprinkler system.

With public pools in both cities closed at this time, Corbin Fire Department Battalion Chief James Smith said their “Water Days” event was a great alternative.

“So, this was kind of a neat alternative for us to have,” said Battalion Chief Smith. “A little interaction with the community and the kids to be able to find a way to stay cool, it’s been pretty miserable hot this week, so.”

With high temperatures well into the 90s, kids and families were looking for a spot to cool off in both communities.

“I know one thing; we couldn’t have picked a better day for it,” said Paintsville Mayor Bill Runyon. “It’s been so hot around here and of course, our pool is closed right now.”

Paintsville Recreation Center Director Scott ‘Shoes’ Hale said he saw many communities throughout the state doing the same and reached out to the Paintsville Fire Department about having the “Soaked in the Sun” event at the nearby park.

“Just give the kids a way to get out and beat the heat this summer and cool down and have a little fun,” said Hale. “It’s something new so, you know, we needed to do something to help these kids out where it’s so hot.”

Officials and local fire departments in both communities said they are willing to do whatever they can to give back to the community.

“As many as they want to have, we’ll be right here to do them, they’re fun,” said Paintsville FD Firefighter/EMT Thomas Rice. “Anything to make kids happy. I’ve noticed a lot of the kids as they walked by, and they look at the fire truck, they liked the lights, they love it, so anything we can do to help them and keep some joy and happiness in this rough time we live in, we’re all about it.”

The Corbin Fire Department is hosting another “Water Days” event on June 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Hale and Rice said the Paintsville Recreation Center and Paintsville FD will be planning more “Soaked in the Sun” events in the future and hope to have two events per month throughout the summer.

Mayor Runyon also said Paintsville’s public pool will be reopening in May 2023 with an added splash pad.

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