It was a good day to be a first responder in Burnside.
Members of the city's fire department and police department were present Monday night at the September Burnside City Council meeting as Mayor Robert Lawson recognized their services to the community, and read a proclamation declaring September 11, 2019 as a day of service and remembrance.
The date marks the events of September 11, 2001, when, as Lawson stated, "the American people endured the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the nation's history." He added, "In response to this tragedy, Americans across the country came together in a remarkable spirit of patriotism and community, and carried out countless acts of kindness, generosity and compassion."
The result has been to hold September 11 as a charitable service day and to remember the lost lives on that date in 2001, noted Lawson, and it's also a time to recognize first responders. The Burnside Fire Department's roster lined the side wall in the council chamber as Lawson read the proclamation, and members of the Burnside Police Department were along the back. Fire Chief James Martin and Police Chief Mike Hill received copies of the proclamation, as they were congratulated by the mayor.
"I served 22 years in the military, so I know what that means," said Lawson of the sacrifices made by first responders and the military. "I know what that means. It's really, really near to my heart. Thank you again for your service."
Martin had another exciting announcement -- the fire department's acquisition of a light rescue truck, which he described as a "huge, huge asset" for Burnside.
It's a department first, said Martin, as city firefighters had never been certified to do extrication of those who are trapped in emergency situations -- but they are now, he noted, and can assist Somerset-Pulaski County EMS.
It's a multi-use truck, and has no fuel equipment, said Martin -- it's all battery powered. It can be used to fight vehicle fires and other emergency purposes as well as extrication.
Martin said he's been told that the truck is "probably one of the best pieces of equipment the county has."
In other Burnside City Council News:
• Utility Superintendent Richard Troxell brought to the council's attention the problem of a leak in a pump used by the city's water department that transfers water from the plant to the holding tank. The problem was due to a bent shaft, said Troxell, and there were two options available -- rebuilding the pump, or replacing it altogether. The cost of the former option would be about $15,000 and the latter option close to $10,000 more.
The council debated the various options -- keeping in mind that there was no emergency funds available in the water department budget to deal with such issues -- and ultimately opted to move close to $15,000 from the city's general fund to the water department to do the rebuild.
• A reolution was read designated September 2019 as "City Government Month" in Burnside, to recognize a civics awareness campaign to educate elementary school students about city services by providing teachers with lesson plans, an activity book, and an implementation guide.
• Trick-or-treat times for Halloween were set for Thursday, October 31, from 6-8 p.m.
• Frank Crabtree Jr., Burnside's Tourism Director, gave out awards recognizing various figures for their help in making Burnside's 2019 Independence Day festival the largest event in the city's history, with over 10,000 participants.
Those who were recognized and received commemorative plaques included:
• Bobby Clue, Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Business Liaison Partner
• Robert Lawson, City of Burnside Kentucky, Outstanding Leadership
• Crissa Morris, City of Burnside Kentucky, Outstanding Cornerstone
• Zyndall Haste, Gatormade Trailers, Outstanding In-Kind Sponsor
• Chief Mike Hill, Burnside Police Department, Clutch Award
• David Staley, Burnside Maintenance Division, Perseverance Award
• Phyllis Coffey, Board of Tourism, Commitment To Excellence
• Alice Jackson, 7 Gables Motel, Top Community Resource Contributor
• Danny Bray, Air Methods, Outstanding Community Support
• Kevin Wilson, Forcht Broadcasting WTLO/WYKY, Outstanding Advertising Partner
• Chris Harris, Commonwealth Journal, Outstanding Print Media Partner