Blount Schools Stiffing Hanceville On JB Pennington High School Fire

by | Jan 13, 2018 | Blount, City News, County News, Hanceville

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Blount Schools Stiffing Hanceville On JB Pennington High School Fire

You may recall that Hanceville Fire & Rescue along with other agencies from Cullman County responded to mutual aid requests from the Blount County 911 system back in March of 2017.

Hanceville Fire & Rescue was one of many fire departments participating in a three-day fire extinguishment event at J.B. Pennington High School in Blountsville.

For background:

The ongoing, multiple day structure fire at the J.B. Pennington High School in Blountsville took its toll on students, teachers, and school officials.

The school was damaged by the blaze beyond use.

The fire itself was tenacious, hard to access, and a tremendous challenge for firefighting personnel to ultimately extinguish.

One of the school buildings involved had the fire burn into the attic space making firefighter interior attack prohibitive due to the risk of ceiling collapses.

As a result, it was deemed necessary to gain access to the interior of the structure by cutting through the roof and removing roofing panels. With no ladder trucks available in Blount County, the Hanceville Fire & Rescue ladder trucks were deployed for the task.

The effort cost the City of Hanceville approximately $11,500.

Soon after the fire that closed J.B. Pennington concluded, Hanceville Fire & Rescue billed the Blount County Board of Education for expenses incurred. This practice is common in such situations.

Ten months have passed since the billing. Hanceville has not received reimbursement for the $11,500 amount.

The City of Hanceville offered to reduce the amount down to $10,000 later in 2017.

According to Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail, Blount County Superintendent of Schools Rodney P. Green agreed to present the reduced figure to the Blount County Board of Education (BCBOE).

As of January 12, 2018, the bill remains unpaid.

At the most recent meeting of the Hanceville City Council, Mayor Nail directed City Attorney Dan Willingham to contact the BCBOE pursue an amicable, yet final, resolution by persuading the BCBOE to pay their woefully delinquent bill.

Mayor Kenneth Nail:

“The Hanceville Fire Department was instrumental in many aspects of extinguishing the J.B. Pennington school fire. We did not hesitate to respond to the call for mutual aid. Our personnel spent the bulk of three days on scene conducting some very challenging and dangerous work.


The City of Hanceville would merely like reimbursed for the expenses we incurred during the fire event.


The City of Hanceville does not want to get stiffed on these expenses. It is as simple and as reasonable as that.”

Mayor Nail also believes that four Blount County fire departments are in the same boat as the City of Hanceville; all are waiting to be reimbursed for their mutual aid efforts from the J. B. Pennington fire.

The Blount County School System has a substantial annual budget of more than $60 million, employing over 500 certified personnel-employees with professional certificates-teachers, administrators, counselors, librarians, etc.

Hanceville Fire & Rescue

Blount Schools Stiffing Hanceville On JB Pennington High School Fire

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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