The Lexington Fire Department (LFD) donated a 2005 Ford Explorer to the Neon Volunteer Fire Department (NVFD) following devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky earlier this year. The historic flood that wreaked havoc in 13 counties and claimed more than 40 lives also left the NVFD short of seven fire appliances, straining its response efforts. The Kentucky League of Cities recognized their need, and Member Relations Manager Terri Johnson emailed other departments requesting vehicles to fill the gaps. In his email, Johnson wrote: “So many needs are being met, but there are many more to come. Thank you for your commitment to each other.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to help our fellow Kentucky people,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “We sent our firefighters and public works crews to the flooded counties in Eastern Kentucky. This is another opportunity to give back.
The LFD had recently replaced several support vehicles and was preparing older units for surplus when the request was made. One of these SUVs was determined to still be in good condition and plans were immediately initiated to donate the SUV to Neon. “Our mission as firefighters is to help people, and in that case we are able to help those who help others, which is very rewarding,” said fire chief Jason Wells. “Neon faces years of reconstruction and incalculable challenges. We are happy to help in this small way.
Carter Bevins has served as the fire chief of the Neon Volunteer Fire Department for the past 45 years. Chief Bevins recalled the horror of the first day, saying it was the worst flood they had ever experienced. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” Bevins said. “We are grateful for the SUV donation and will put it to use immediately.” Bevins said the department’s biggest need at this point is a fire truck, as they lost two of their own in the flood.
Neon is about three hours southeast of Lexington, near the Kentucky-Virginia border. The NVFD has 39 firefighters, serves a population of 10,000, and conducts an average of 3,500 runs per year, providing both fire and EMS services. The Explorer will serve as the new incident command vehicle, as their old command vehicle was a total loss.
. LFD donate donate dun SUV fire department volunteer Neon