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Class 8 fire rating… Three VFDs combine to form second-largest fire district

By Staff
LAY OF THE LAND Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator Clarence Butler, left, and training officer Mike Sims map out the Bailey and Pine Springs volunteer fire departments soon to be consolidated. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 26, 2000
BAILEY The upcoming consolidation of three Lauderdale County volunteer fire departments means a Class 8 fire rating and savings on homeowner's insurance  for residents of Bailey, Pine Springs and Shucktown.
The new district will merge the Bailey and Pine Springs VFDs, and include a new Shucktown VFD. The district will have a Class 8 fire rating and will be second in size only to the Toomsuba/Alamucha VFD.
Residents in the Shucktown community just south of the Kemper County line began soliciting donations months ago to build their new station, a No. 2 station partnered with nearby Bailey VFD.
The land has been cleared and the contract to build the station signed about three weeks ago, said Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator Clarence Butler.
The new fire district will take in 50 square miles north of the Meridian city limits to the Kemper County line and east of Okatibbee Reservoir to a line just west of Highway 39 North.
The consolidation of the three departments into one will create a Class 8 rating for the residents, he said. Residents in Pine Springs and in Shucktown are currently under a Class 10 rating.
Also joining the new district is Pine Springs Volunteer Fire Department which has difficulty recruiting volunteers because of its size.
Butler presented the consolidation idea to the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors in a Dec. 14 work session and received a positive response, he said.
Butler said fire chiefs and residents welcome the change.
Residents who would like to make donations or volunteer can contact Butler at 482-9856.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.