Tom Jump is returning to his roots after being named the new chief of the Dry Ridge Fire Department.

    He was unanimously approved for the position during the March 19 Dry Ridge City Council meeting.

    Jump began his duties April 1.


    Magistrate Brian Linder called it “a step in the right direction” to providing much-needed funding to the county’s five fire departments.

    The Grant County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a first reading April 16 of an ordinance for subscriber fees for fire departments.

    The cost of the dues, which residents of Dry Ridge and Williamstown would be exempt from, would be $25 for the first year.

    A property owner who owns multiple real estate parcels will only have to pay fire dues on three of those for a total of $75.


    Fire chiefs believe fire dues proposed by Grant County Judge-Executive Darrell Link won’t solve their funding issues and will likely make the lack of funding more of an issue.

    Link introduced the possibility of fire dues at the last fiscal court meeting and a first reading is expected to be voted on during the April 16 meeting.

    The cost of the dues would be $25 for the first year with the fire chiefs setting the amount for their district after that.

  • Is county’s fire funding adequate?

    Is $25,000 adequate funding provided by the Grant County Fiscal Court each year to the five fire departments?
    Depends on who you ask.

    The fire chiefs say the money only helps pay for fuel in a time that expenditures are rising and revenue is not increasing.

    However, the county gives more money to its fire departments than most in the state, according Judge-Executive Darrell Link.


    Judge-Executive Darrell Link admits that the emergency services tax proposed by the Grant County Fire Chiefs’ Association would provide much-needed funding for fire and ambulance services.

    But, he doesn’t think voters would approve paying for a new tax during tough economic times.


    The Grant County Fiscal Court will be bringing a proposed ambulance taxing district back for a second reading and discussing possible fire dues during its next meeting.

    Magistrate Bobby Young made a motion during the April 2 meeting to take the ordinance off of the table and a vote on the final reading of the taxing district will take place during the April 16 meeting.

    “We can’t sit around and do nothing at this point,” he said. “I feel like doing nothing is the wrong thing.”

  • Williamstown needs more firefighters

    Williamstown Fire Chief Les Whalen is normally the only one at the station when it is time to respond to a call.

    The department has 25 to 35 volunteers, but Whalen may only be able to utilize one to two when a fire needs to be put out.

    And, those volunteers may be busy working or they may have just got off from a 24-hour shift at another fire department.

    That is why staffing is the greatest concern Whalen has for his fire department.


    Sixty percent of the fire and EMS calls answered by the Dry Ridge Fire Department are outside of the city limits.

    However, the city is paying for 100 percent of the needs to provide those services.

    That dilemma could bring crucial changes because of the drain it has put on the city’s finances.

  • Jonesville chief says cooperation is key

    Jonesville Fire Department may have the smallest coverage area of any of Grant County’s fire departments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need more funding to operate.

    “We’re paying our bills,” said Fire Chief Chase Duvall. “Our progress has developed over different funding streams.”

    Jonesville Fire Department has 18 members. The town lies on the Grant/Owen county line and receives funding from the fiscal court of both counties.

  • Crittenden needs funds to outfit volunteers

    Lee Burton is trying to catch up on paperwork, especially after his March got busy in a hurry when a tornado ripped through Crittenden.

    Burton, Crittenden’s fire chief, spent the next couple of weeks, dealing with the aftermath and relief efforts from the deadly storms.

    Often in the morning, Burton can be found at the firehouse.

    He’s not paid to do the job, but believes it is a calling.