Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department opens third fire station

John Thompson • Oct 25, 2019 at 11:33 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A longtime dream to provide better fire protection for the residents of the upper end of Stoney Creek is now a reality, as the Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department has officially opened its Fire Station No. 3 at 2780 Highway 91, which is at the upper end of Big Sandy in Taylor Hollow.

Fire Chief Jack Buckles said it took about a year to complete the building.

“We got a lot of volunteer work and we had to work on their schedule,” he said.

The new fire station is a 30-foot-by-50-foot building. It has a double bay, living quarters and a bathroom. The department has one pumper fire truck assigned to the building. Buckles said the fire truck was acquired from the Shady Valley Volunteer Fire Department. He said the building cost $42,000 and the department still owes $18,000 on it.

Buckles said the Stoney Creek department has been operating since 1970. Its first station was at the head of Peters Hollow. The second station at the lower end of Willow Springs Road opened in 1980. The department remains an all-volunteer organization that has achieved an Insurance Service Organization rating of 5.

Buckles said that rating is used by insurance companies to determine the cost of home insurance. While there are many good reasons to build a fire station in a neighborhood that is a long distance from the nearest existing fire station, the savings that homeowners can realize on their annual payments is certainly one they can enjoy every year.

Buckles said the people around the station are currently assigned an ISO rating of 10. Now that they have a nearby Stoney Creek VFD station, that will drop to a 5. Buckles said his department has calculated that should affect 185 houses. Homeowners will need to call their insurance company to determine how much they will save. He said most homeowners will save about $300 per year. That works out to a total savings in the community of $55,000 per year.

“The county donates $60,000 a year and we fund raise another $50,000,” Buckles said. With that money, the department manages three stations and have 25 firefighters serving the community.

Buckles said a lot of people provided donations to make the new station a reality. He said Billy Cole, Charlie Cole and the Cole Family donated the land to the fire department. Others were electrician Joe Buckles; concrete work by Ken Arnold of East Tennessee Concrete; John Allen of PMDE Enterprise; New Liberty Freewill Baptist Church; plumbing services by Danny Churchill Plumbing; painting services by Dayton Buckles Painting; and plumbing services by Larry McKinney Plumbing.

“We want this building to become a community building and hopefully the community will take ownership and take pride in it,” Buckles said.

The department held its grand opening for the station on Saturday, Oct. 19. To commemorate the event, Packy Fair, a member of the volunteer fire department since 1970, made the call to 911 on the radio to formally enter Station 3 into the emergency communications network and mark Fire Station 3 open for business.