SE Bullitt Fire Dept. opens doors to public for first time - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SE Bullitt Fire Dept. opens doors to public for first time

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SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a fire department that has only ever been seen from a distance.

“They want to know who you are, they want to know who's coming to their house,” said Maj. Wayne Bowles.

That is until Saturday as hundreds of people came out to the Southeast Bullitt Fire Department.

“This never happened before. I bet we had close to 500 people here today,” said Fire Chief Erik Butler.

For the first time in history, the doors opened. The public saw the kitchen and lounge area, the overnight room complete with a fire pole, the work out room, and of course the garage. The community was even allowed to open the door, step up inside and see what it's like to ride in a fire truck.

Maj. Bowles believes the public's tax dollars were well spent on the firehouse.

“Now that they're being allowed to be a part of it, they see that too. Because before I think there was just a lot of speculation,” said Bowles.

Former Chief, Julius Hatfield, resigned in February and is being investigated for alleged insurance fraud, abuse of public trust, and other charges. Saturday's open house was a way for residents to see the department in a new light.

“The biggest difference is we have a fire department and it's ours. Whereas before I don't think they felt they were a part of anything here,” said Bowles.

“There's people that I don't even know that have come up here and say, ‘hey we've heard great things, thanks for what you're doing,'” said Butler.

Not only is the public happier, but they're also safer. Maj. Bowles says the station no longer has a stressful atmosphere and more firefighters spend time there, which means shorter run times when heading to a fire.

“Everybody's happy, and it's just a complete turn around here,” said Butler.

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