A fire station in Logan County has opened its doors to anyone who needs a warm place to sleep during these cold winter nights.
One of the people who has been staying at the Russellville Rural Fire Department is an essential worker for the local ambulance service who has to get to her job on the morning shift.
Firefighters have been providing safe rides for essential workers who may have difficulty traveling over icy roads.
Russellville Rural Fire Chief Cheryl Allen said she’s put the word out about the warming shelter. Logan County Search and Rescue Chief Terry Cole has been working with that team to locate people who have been staying outside in the dangerously cold temperatures.
“We knew that there may be some people that were homeless, or their heat might go out, or they didn’t have resources to heat their home,” said Allen.
She said one man has been staying at the fire station since the cold weather began.
“He is a homeless man that sleeps in his vehicle most of the time. He’s an elderly man," Allen said. "We’ve been tending to another gentleman here in town that is homeless and is actually living in a tent.”
She said the welcome mat will be out as long as the cold weather continues.
Allen said local residents support the fire department in many ways, including donating blankets and food for the warming shelter. She said those generous acts reinforce the idea that the fire station belongs to the community.
Chief Allen has been a firefighter for 38 years and has been chief of the Russellville Rural Fire Deparment for more than a dozen years.
The station covers 144 square miles outside the city of Russellville.
The Russellville Rural Fire Department has 32 volunteer firefighters.