CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Forest Volunteer Firefighters in Clinton County are celebrating the erection of a brand new fire station.
Forest Volunteer Fire Department has been a staple in the community for more than 60 years. It was destroyed by a tornado in late May 2017.
“It was probably one of the biggest events that happened here,” said Forest Volunteer Fire Chief Stace Alter. “It was very unexpected. Obviously you never think it's going to happen in your area but unfortunately, this one did.”
Not long after the tornado, Alter worked to get grants for a new facility.
“We were granted $500,000 from the state along with our insurance money, we had $200,000 and then also with our local budget, we were able to gain another $220,000.
The fire department used the $920,000 to build a facility with all their necessities.
“We never had bathrooms, we never had running water, we never had an official meeting or training room, which we have now,” said Alter. “We never had a kitchen so we can do actually what we need to do as a volunteer fire department.”
Alter said the tornado could be seen as a blessing in disguise.
“Absolutely was, but I do not wish it on anyone. It's a very tragic thing to go through.”
Alter said volunteer fire departments hold importance in every community especially rural ones.
“All over the state, they're all needed. That's what they're here for. They're here for the community,” said Alter.
The facility is still undergoing renovation. The department will host a grand opening for the new building in May.
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