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Firefighters At Risk From Old Equipment

Article Date: 
6 August, 2010 - 06:00

    Fire Chief Dave Rich presented at the County Council meeting on Tuesday night at the request of Council Chairman Creager.  Rich reported to the council that the fire department had responded to a fire near the county’s television antennae.  As they were travelling to the site, one of the county’s brush trucks repeatedly slipped out of gear causing delays and a safety hazard.
    The truck is a 1985 model, and while it has relatively low mileage, it has reached the end of its useful life.  Rich reported that it did not make fiscal sense to put any money into repairing the vehicle.  Rich further indicated that the Fire Department had pursued grant money to replace the truck for the last two years without success.  He expressed that the time had come to replace the truck before someone was hurt.
    Rich had begun looking for another vehicle and identified funds from his existing budget to provide the modifications necessary to make the vehicle functional such as adding a large water tank.  The information Rich shared was in anticipation of the Council’s mid year budget review when additional needs are considered.
    While no budget action will be taken until final number can be proposed  and a budget resolution brought forward, the council responded favorably to Rich’s request.  It appears that the county is on its way to replacing this brush truck and providing the equipment to ensure the safety of its firefighters.