Harrods Creek Fire Department still looking for funding to respo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Harrods Creek Fire Department still looking for funding to respond to East End Bridge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local fire chief says there's a dangerous problem with the new East End Bridge, and he's running out of time to fix it.

On Monday, the Harrods Creek Fire Department spent the day testing the testing the fire suppression system inside the east end tunnels.

"Make sure that it going to be able to provide the gallons per minute out of each head," said Harrods Creek Fire Chief Kevin Tyler.

The firefighters are specially trained to respond to emergencies in tunnels and on bridges, but they may not be around when the work is done in just a few months.

Chief Tyler is still looking for funding to keep 15 firefighters who operate truck 1288. Recently, his plan B, which was a two year federal grant, fell through.

"It was kind of depressing and heart wrenching because now I have to look these guys in the eye, even though we knew it was coming, and tell them, there is no plan C."

The truck and extra manpower were paid for upfront by the Indiana Department of Transportation, but when construction ends, so will funding.

Chief Tyler says he needs five cents to fix the problem.

"The assessment that I got was 30,000 cars a day," he said. "One nickel would help us keep, actually it would do what we need to keep, the asset on track and keep the people employed."

Sound like an easy fix, right?

"I think I would agree that he needs funding to maintain his current staffing, yes," said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas.

We talked to Secretary Thomas earlier this month, and he said they're looking at several options.

"At this point, we are still reviewing request and trying to work with folks to see what's available."

But Chief Tyler hopes to get an answer soon, because he has already lost his first firefighter.

"He is one of the guys who is one the rescue unit, so he'll be leaving us shortly," he said. "He's going to try to do both for as long as he can to see what they outcome is."

Chief Tyler said his new plan B is Metro Council and to reapply for the aforementioned federal grant again next year.

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Local chief says he needs funding to patrol East End Bridge and tunnels

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