Small towns often have to make due with insufficient funds to hire full-time emergency service workers. They rely on volunteers and services from nearby towns and cities when there’s a problem. They share fire departments, police stations and hospitals. A new fire station can be a lifesaver to a small town.
This fact wasn’t lost on Mark Hill and his family. His father’s life was saved twice by the local volunteer firefighters in his small Missouri town of Camden Point. They wanted to give back in a major way.
In November 2012, the family won almost 200 million dollars in the Powerball drawing. Since that time, they’ve done what most lottery winners do. They’ve gone on vacations, purchased vehicles and renovated their home. The family also adopted two more children.
They didn’t forget the volunteer firefighters who had saved his father’s life though. The couple donated the money to build a fire station for the town of Camden Point. It took over a year to build the facility, which will house the community’s fire trucks as well as the ambulance service.
The couple didn’t want any publicity for the fire station. They report that if they could have donated anonymously and quietly, they would have preferred that, but the couple wanted to be in on the plans to build a beautiful facility that would last for generations. Along with the fire station, the couple have quietly donated to numerous other charities.
Hill jokingly said during an interview about the fire station that he didn’t even want to do any interviews. He would rather have been changing the oil in the interviewer’s car.
The facility has a training room and houses both the fire department and the ambulance service. They’re proud to have contributed to the ability of their small town to have an ambulance service as well as a fire station. In a town of 500 people, it’s definitely something to be proud of for the Hill family.
The family worked closely with architects, the fire district and contractors to ensure it was a great facility. The walls, floors and ceilings are made from concrete. The only parts of the facility that aren’t concrete are the doors. There’s radiant heating in the floors, and it’s an energy efficient building that will last for years. They left room to expand into the facility too.
The Camden Point Fire District Board member, Steve Folck, said he understands how blessed the community is to have this beautiful new building, and he doesn’t take the gift lightly. Hill would most likely respond that he’s blessed to have a volunteer fire department in his small town that allowed him extra time with his father.
The fire station was dedicated on July 16, 2016 with the entire community coming out to celebrate the generosity of the Hill family as well as the volunteer fire department that saved Hill’s father and made it all possible with their heroism.