OREGON COUNTY -- The Thayer Rural Volunteer Fire Department has incorporated as a public benefit in compliance with state and federal laws. According to rural fire department Secretary/Treasurer Don Smith, this should also allow the fire department to receive federal grants the same as a city fire department would.
Smith said the newly incorporated fire department would serve outside the Thayer city limits up to seven miles. He said lots of insurance companies give breaks to rural home owners on their insurance who belong to rural fire departments. "This will make it easier for people who are members of the rural fire department if they have a fire," Smith said.
Currently it is very expensive for the fire department to respond to a rural fire if the home owner is not a member of the rural fire department. Smith said it costs $150 for each truck that responds to the location plus $15 an hour for every fireman who responds to the fire call.
He said a family that lives just outside the Thayer city limits and are not members of the rural fire department recently paid $800 for an answered fire call.
There are approximately 355 Thayer Rural Fire Department members in surrounding communities. It costs $25 to join the rural fire department for the first year and $15 for every year after that.
The Thayer Rural Volunteer Fire Department is governed by a board of directors that include: Ed Taylor, president; Bonnie Schuster, vice president; Tim Ward, Doyle Fink and Jim Hart, board members; and Steve Hall serves as the member appointed by the city of Thayer.
Rural residents interested in joining the fire department may call Smith at 264-7192 or any fireman for membership information.