Rescue Squad to sell house in Seymour after complaints

Mar. 16, 2013 @ 09:32 PM

The Sevier County Rescue Squad won’t be using a house on Boyd’s Creek Highway for a substation after all.

After a meeting with its own board of directors and with the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, the rescue squad has decided to sell a house it purchased last month on Boyds Creek Highway near Chapman Highway, public information officer Todd Spence said Friday.

Squad officials also met with Seymour Volunteer Fire Department representatives this week and hashed out a new protocol that calls for the volunteer fire department to respond first to any call involving a wreck and possible extrication in its service area. Previously, dispatchers would call both departments in those situations.

“We discussed what we would do together to work as a team and made some new protocols and guidelines and so forth that we’ll be presenting to County Commission Monday,” Spence said.

On Chapman Highway, for example, the Seymour VFD will respond to wrecks between Shiloh Road and the county line, while the rescue squad responds to wrecks farther into the county in its service area. If either agency needs assistance at a wreck scene, they still have an agreement in place to provide aid upon request.

They will still respond to other rescue calls in Seymour, such as searches, swift water rescues or high angle rescues as needed, he said.

The purchase of the house, located at 312 Boyds Creek Highway, caused controversy after one of the closest neighbors to the property said it was within a subdivision that had deed restrictions limiting each lot to single-family dwellings. Bill Oakes, the county commissioner from the area, questioned whether the Seymour area needed a substation of the rescue squad; he maintained the volunteer fire department could handle most calls without assistance from the rescue squad.

The squad had planned on using the house to station a crash truck, and to let members use the house if they needed to rest after a call.

Oakes also questioned the purchase because the house belonged to the niece of Seymour Fire Chief Jim Kyker. Kyker could not be reached Friday for comment; neither could Charlene Taylor, the neighbor who had first complained about the substation being placed in the subdivision.

— jfarrell@themountainpress.com