In an executive order issued by Knox County Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that the Kentucky State Fire Commission no longer recognizes Stinking Creek Volunteer Fire and Rescue as a fire department “in the county of Knox.”
The order declares a local state of emergency, stating the announcement has “placed the residents within the Stinking Creek Fire District in a hazardous situation.” East Knox Fire Department will be directing operations in the Stinking Creek district for the time being, with other departments directed to “cooperate to the fullest extent.”
Mitchell released the following statement to The Mountain Advocate: After receiving a notification from the Kentucky State Fire Commission that they no longer recognize the Stinking Creek Fire Department because they were not in compliance with the fire commission’s standards, which means they cannot operate as a fire department in Kentucky (leading to the Executive Order). They are not eligible to receive funding. They have no designated boundary area to cover. They cannot operate as a quasi government agency. Fire trucks cannot have official tags. Drivers are not CDL exempt. Firefighters are not covered by workmen’s compensation.
The Emergency Declaration by Executive Order was issued to make sure the residents of the Stinking Creek community would have fire protection.
This is all a result of Charles Freeland’s mismanagement practices as the Fire Chief of this department.
“This unfortunate situation at the Stinking Creek Fire Department is in no way associated with any of the other Fire Departments in Knox county. We have some of the best Fire Departments, and Firefighters in this region,” Mitchell said.
Stinking Creek Fire Chief Charles Freeland gave the following statement when asked about the announcement, “Yeah I saw it. I was conferenced in yesterday with both the State Fire Commission Auditor and Judge Mitchell and during that call it was stated as long as we could handle the calls they would still be sent to us. We have not missed one call we were paged for.”
See the order in full at mountainadvocate.com.