Saturday, November 26th, 2022
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At 7:04 pm tonight, Milton Fire and Rescue responded to 100 Churchwood Ln at the Churchwood Apartments for the report of a fire and smoke coming from the building. Once units arrived on the scene they...
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
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At 9:54 p.m. on July 5th, Milton Fire & Rescue responded to a vehicle vs tractor-trailer at 10559 Hwy 421 N. A 2022 International Tractor-trailer owned by Mason and Mefford of Madison was backing ...
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
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At 5:19 p.m. on July 5th, crews from Milton Fire & Rescue responded to the report of a two-vehicle injury accident at the intersection of Hwy 421 N and Palmyra Rd. Crews arrived on the scene and a...
Monday, July 4th, 2022
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At 3:46 p.m. on July 4th, Milton Fire & Rescue was dispatched to Hwy 36 and Riverdale Dr for the report of a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Crews arrived on the scene and found a 1995 GMT-4...
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
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Fire Department subscriptions have been mailed out and should be arriving to you soon. This is a tax-deductible donation that helps the department operate and makes up the largest amount of our operat...
Saturday, January 29th, 2022
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Tonight Milton Fire & Rescue held its annual awards banquet at the Red Bicycle Hall in Madison. It was a great night to honor the Firefighters of the department and their families. Thank you to th...
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Keep Fires Burning Safely With Tips From the U.S. Fire Administration Milton, KY December 2nd, 2021 — Do the chilly temperatures have you dreaming of cozy gatherings around a brightly lit fire? ...
Thursday, September 30th, 2021
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As Fire Prevention Week™ approaches, the Milton Fire & Rescue reminds residents to“Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™” October 1st 2021 – Milton Fire & Rescue is te...
News
CORN MAZE TRADITION ENDS
Saturday, October 19th, 2019

No ‘Trail of Screams’ in Milton this year

CORN MAZE TRADITION ENDS

Low volunteer membership, field’s soil make Halloween tradition impractical

Mark Campbell, Courier Staff Writer, Twitter @mscnewsman

Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:58 AM

Photo courtesy of Milton Fire & Rescue

Photo courtesy of Milton Fire & Rescue

A Halloween tradition for residents of the Courierarea has come to an end.

Milton Fire and Rescue Chief Jason Long announced in a Facebook post recently that the department will no longer host its annual Trail of Screams corn maze because of the impracticality of responding to calls, conditions of the field’s soil and low volunteer membership.

“This was a hard decision for us but it was for the best,” Long announced in the post. “We apologize to all of our loyal customers that came each year. It is just not something we could do anymore.”

For eight years, the fire department has hosted the maze in the cornfield next to Station 2 on Volunteer Drive off U.S. 421. Fire volunteers would spend at least two weeks cutting and mowing the paths, placing props and decorations in the maze each weekend evening it was open and removing them from the path hours after it closed, usually as late as 1 a.m., Long said. Each year, they would cut a new pattern in the corn, like the Maltese cross used in countless fire department emblems.

“People don’t realize how much work was involved in it,” Long said.

A limited number of firefighters and the priority of responding to calls has made it hard on the department to juggle, however. In the event of a call, firefighters had to shuffle customers out of secret emergency shortcuts and temporarily shut the maze down. It happened often, Long said.

“All the firefighters would be out there in the middle of the corn maze, and if we had to go to a wreck or a house fire, you’re looking at five to 10 minutes to get everyone out of the corn maze, but then you have to get the customers out too, then shut it down, and then get in the trucks and respond,” he said.

Long said membership has dwindled in recent years. The department had 20 to 30 members a decade ago; they now have about 12. When factoring in their shifts, only five or six are around to respond to a call at a time.

“And that’s not enough people,” Long said. “...We don’t have anything to offer people except for you get to help the community, you get a shirt, you get to be part of the department...you can’t get people because you have nothing to offer, really, besides that,” he said.

Milton Fire and Rescue is not alone in having this problem. A study from the National Volunteer Fire Council found the number of volunteer firefighters in the U.S. decreased by 25 percent from 1983 to 2017. At the same time, emergency calls have tripled in the last 30 years, it said.

The department did, however, get five new recent applicants after a persistent call for new volunteers, Long noted.

Another issue in running the maze was the condition of the corn crop and potential for fires. Years of growing on the same land without rotating have made the stalks brittle, short, thin and potentially flammable, Long said. This year was so dry, he doesn’t know if running all the electrical equiment through it would have been safe.

“One year, you could look over the corn and see where you were going because the corn didn’t grow high enough,” he said.

Last year proved especially frustrating, when the maze had to stay closed because of rain every weekend and the department didn’t make a cent. Unlike departments in Oldham County, Kentucky, Milton Fire and Rescue doesn’t have a taxing base, he explained. All revenue comes from the fish fries they host several times a year, which helps cover the $1,000 to $1,500 spent on running the corn maze each year.

But the hassle of juggling the maze with responding to calls, the department’s main priority, remains the biggest reason for shutting down the attraction.

“There was one year that we had a fatal wreck up in Bedford and we responded to it, and it was right when the corn maze opened — I don’t even know if we had one customer in there yet — and we were up there for three-and-a-half hours,” Long said. “When we got back, there was a line, there were people waiting three-and-a-half hours for us to get back just to do it... it was fun, but it’s just not the business we need to be in as a fire department — fish fries are what we’re going to stick to.”

Long said most of the props, costumes, lights and fog machines were given to the Deputy, Indiana, Volunteer Fire Department for its annual Haunted Hayride, which they hosted last Saturday night.

A comeback for the Trail of Screams would only be possible if the funding and volunteer force were sufficient, he said. Families from as far from Cincinnati and Fort Wayne drove down to go through the maze, as well as hundreds of local families.

“It sucks for that, just because those families, it’s something they can do and and it’s a memory for them, it’s just that it’s something we’re not able to do anymore,” Long said.

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149 entries in the News
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
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Fire Department subscriptions have been mailed out and should be arriving to you soon. This is a tax-deductible donation that helps the department operate and makes up the largest amount of our operating budget.
Saturday, January 29th, 2022
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Tonight Milton Fire & Rescue held its annual awards banquet at the Red Bicycle Hall in Madison. It was a great night to honor the Firefighters of the department and their families. Thank you to the Red Bicycle Hall and Classic Cuisine Catering for the event space and food.
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Keep Fires Burning Safely With Tips From the U.S. Fire Administration Milton, KY December 2nd, 2021 — Do the chilly temperatures have you dreaming of cozy gatherings around a brightly lit fire? Whether your ideal winter retreat is in the warm glow of the family room fireplace or sitting by a f...
Thursday, September 30th, 2021
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As Fire Prevention Week™ approaches, the Milton Fire & Rescue reminds residents to“Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™” October 1st 2021 – Milton Fire & Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)—the official sponsor o...
Saturday, January 30th, 2021
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Tonight we held our annual awards dinner to honor the member of the department and those who have helped us during the year. Below are the results of the awards and some photos. Without these volunteers, we would not be able to operate.
Saturday, October 10th, 2020
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Milton Fire & Rescue is the new 2020 Madison Indiana Water Ball fight champions. Crews fought several rounds against Madison Indiana Fire Companies and won every round including the championship. We are thankful for Madison inviting us and proud of our members for winning.
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VIRTUAL FIREFIGHTER BOOT Text CRUSADE to 50155 CashApp: $crusadechildren Venmo: @CrusadeForChildren Online: WHASCrusade.org Mail: WHAS Crusade for Children, 520 W. Chestnut St., Louisville, KY 40202 REMINDER: ***Include the name of our fire department in the comment/note field when you make your don...
Friday, May 22nd, 2020
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We are happy to announce that we are going to open our fish fry back up after a couple of months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our fish fry will open back up on Saturday June 6th from 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
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Fishing for Autism
Resolve to Make Your Home Safer in 2020: Ring in Fire Safety!Milton, Kentucky, December 28th 2019 — If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re starting off the new year with a resolution to improve your fitness and health.
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Put Fire Escape Planning and Practice at the Top of Your Holiday To-Do ListMilton, KY, December 3rd 2019 — You’ve done all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and decorating for your holiday guests.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2019
Top 10 safety tipsStay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.Keep children away from the stove.
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
No ‘Trail of Screams’ in Milton this yearCORN MAZE TRADITION ENDSLow volunteer membership, field’s soil make Halloween tradition impractical Mark Campbell, Courier Staff Writer, Twitter @mscnewsmanSaturday, October 19, 2019 8:58 AMPhoto courtesy of Milton Fire & RescueA Hallowe...
Saturday, October 12th, 2019
We have received several questions as to the status of the Trail of Screams haunted corn maze. We are no longer doing the haunted maze due to several factors that I have listed below. This was a hard decision for us but it was for the best.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
As Fire Prevention Week™ approaches, Milton Fire & Rescue reminds residents:Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!™ October 1st 2019 – Milton Fire & Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®)—the official s...
Saturday, August 24th, 2019
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This weekend Friday-Sunday, Milton Fire & Rescue is host to a 24 hour swift water operations and technician class taught by Bill Matney. There are a total of 26 emergency responders from three different states here (some of which are from as far as Enon-Mad River Township Fire and EMS in Enon, O...
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Our thoughts and prayers are with President Emily McQueary and her family from the loss of her grandmother. She was an avid supporter of our department as is the entire family. She loved coming to our fish fries and we will all miss her greatly.
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https://www.gofundme.com/help-support-milton-fire-amp-rescue?member=1517530&fbclid=IwAR1Jx04s908rMxs0VyO6A3OErxgWhkf1AIkDeCR4ZduFPxe6t7EN97qB1k0
Saturday, February 16th, 2019
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We had our annual Fire Department awards dinner tonight at the Red Bicycle Hall in Madison. Thank you to Supershine Detail N Tint, Miller Automotive, The Red Pepper Deli, Cafe & Catering and the Red Bicycle Hall for helping us out.Explorer of the year: Fletcher NicholsRookie of the Year: Daryl T...
Saturday, February 16th, 2019
Starting this year, Milton Fire & Rescue will be doing fish fries a little different than we have in the past. In the past the majority of our fish fries we traveled out of the county to have them and they were usually at events like car shows and other outdoor events.
149 entries in the News

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