Anderson County Schools decide emergency fire response

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- For two decades Clinton firefighters came to the rescue when alarms sounded at Anderson County High School.

But, a border dispute is calling that into question.

Only on Local 8 News, we found out why.

Anderson County High School's property is split between Clinton and Anderson County.

So who responds in case of an emergency?

Lately, both Andersonville Volunteer and Clinton Fire Departments.Anderson County School officials say for years they relied on Clinton, until someone else stepped in.

Andersonville Volunteer Fire Department's Chief, Jeff Bagwell, says they're concerned about being held liable for the school.

"The process was challenged so we presented a process through city commission, city council, the school board all the governing bodies voted to put this agreement into place," says Director of Transportation for Anderson County Schools, Joe Forgety.

Under the agreement, Clinton will be the main department to respond.

Even though Andersonville Fire Department is a little closer to the school, Clinton has more staff on hand.

"We have a little faster response time than a county agency and they asked us if we would and we just went into the agreement with them," says Clinton Fire Department's Assistant Fire Chief, Jeff Little.

Since Andersonville Fire is volunteer based they charge the school when they respond, Clinton is paid for by taxes but Forgety says money isn't the issue.

"The bottom line is this, it is purely a situation to where we can get the best service for our kids in a fully manned, fully staffed station. That's where we chose to go."

But Forgety says they still rely on Andersonville Volunteer for other schools in their district.

"We need both fire departments but, we pray we don't need them both at the same school," says Forgety.

Bagwell says the state is reviewing the agreement.

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