|photo by Keegan Hamilton|
|Darran Kelly, chief of the Kinloch Fire Protection District|
The Kinloch fire station is one of the nicest buildings in town, but that doesn't mean it's in good shape. The heater is broken, some of the windows are boarded-up, and until recently, a blue tarp, dubbed "the shower curtain," served as the portal through which the fire trucks would enter and leave when responding to emergencies.
The crumbling edifice is the home of the Kinloch Fire Protection District, the only all-volunteer fire department in St. Louis County. The building received several sorely-needed repairs in January when Chief Darran Kelly
placed a help-wanted ad on Craigslist.
"A few guys came out and put in carpet, tiled the floors and the showers, installed a new electric panel and donated some office furniture," recalls Kelly, a 29-year veteran of the force.
Last year the District had to sell a reserve fire truck for scrap metal to pay the electric bill. "It's not because we didn't ask for what was due to us," adds the chief, who oversees nearly two dozen firefighters. "St. Louis County put us in this position." More »