The Jasper County Commissioners Court passed a resolution on Monday officially recognizing the Beech Grove Fire Department for its service to the community.
The action came in the regular monthly meeting of the group that had met to address a lengthy agenda of items to be discussed or voted on.
First to speak on behalf of the department was Precinct 1 Commissioner Seth Martindale, who said “Y'all stepped in during the recent floods and storms and I didn’t even have to ask and I really appreciate that.”
Martindale and the other commissioners praised the members of the department not only for what they had done for the residents of Beech Grove, but also the rest of the County.
Precinct 3 commissioner Willie Stark also praised the volunteers of the department for the part they played in the recent funeral and memorial services for Tri-Community Fire Chief Vandy Smith who had served for years in the Magnolia Springs Community.
Precinct 2 commissioner Roy Parker pointed out that the volunteers saw a need for fire coverage in the area in and around Beech Grove and filled it.
County Judge Mark Allen said it all began in September of 2016 when several men joined together and each donated $500.00 out of their own pockets to get the ball rolling. Allen said a short time later, Vivian Cogbill donated land for the fire station on Farm to Market Road 777 and in March of 2019 the department responded to its first call.
Allen said the creation of the department not only provided fire protection in a much-needed area of the county, but also resulted in lower insurance rates for homes and other properties in the area.
Allen also pointed out that the department was in the process of creating and building another fire house in the Dixie Community, near Bevilport, to fill a void in that area.
Under the leadership of Chief Jamie Gunter, the department has grown to over 18 members.
In addition to fighting fires, the volunteers of the Beech Grove Fire Department also operate a First Responder Unit which responds to emergency medical situations in the area.