Sunshine Volunteer Fire Station No. 1 officially opened

Published 8:21 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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The Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department is now officially stationed at their new facility in Sunshine after decades of operating out of a section of the old National Guard Armory building which currently houses the Harlan County Community Action Agency.
People gathered at the new Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 1 at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, for the ceremony officially opening the facility. Kentucky Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman made the trip to Harlan to take part in the ceremony. Kentucky State Senator Johnnie Turner, Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, multiple Harlan County Magistrates, members of the Harlan City Council, Kentucky Emergency Management Area 9 Manager David McGill, Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steven Hatfield, Assistant Chief Ashley Hatfield, members of the Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department and many others were on hand for the ceremony.
Mosley shared his thoughts on the new station during an interview before the ceremony.
“It’s a great day in Harlan County to open up the new Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department Station,” Mosley said. “The Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department folks do a fabulous job with responding to our community in times of crisis and need. It’s great to have the Lt. Governor here who’s been a supporter of this project from the very beginning, their administration really helped provide the gap funding that was needed to get this project across the finish line. We can’t thank them enough.”
Coleman spoke to the crowd prior to the ribbon cutting.
“It’s great to be here with you guys today,” said Coleman.
Coleman mentioned she had asked to be notified when the station was opened.
“I said I will be here because this is important,” Coleman said. “It’s always good to see you guys and know how many different groups of people it takes to bring something like this to fruition.”
Other speakers included Turner, Mosley, and Chief Hatfield.
Turner noted the project took approximately four years to complete.
“We in Harlan County can be proud and happy now that it’s done,” Turner said.
Chief Hatfield noted the new facility will help the department do their job.
“It’s wonderful to be in a facility like this,” Chief Hatfield said. “We couldn’t ask for anything better than what we’ve ended up with. It’s going to be a fine station; it’s going to help us in our response times and help us better serve our community.”
Coleman shared additional thoughts on the station during an interview following the ceremony.
“I got to be here when we broke ground on the project, so to be here to cut the ribbon on the Sunshine Fire Department is a full circle moment,” she said. “It’s also a testament to the work that’s been done by folks in this community, the chief and assistant chief have been at this for years. It took so many people in so many levels of government in both parties and every branch to bring this to fruition. This, to me, represents the best of us.”
Coleman expressed appreciation for the first responders who take part in volunteer agencies such as the Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department.
“I’m from a small rural town, so I understand what it means to have volunteers and for them to have a place like this,” Coleman said. “Being a first responder isn’t just what you do, it’s who you are. They’re leaving this place to go out and run toward danger while most of us run away from it. So, we want to make sure they have the resources they need to keep them safe so they can keep the rest of us safe.”

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