Rural fire departments to receive new trucks
GOLDSBY, Okla. (AP) - Rural fire departments strapped for money
and hobbled by aging fire equipment will get some help on Friday.
Representatives from 246 departments are set to start arriving
at a state fire center in Goldsby and drive away with 2007 model
year 1-ton trucks, state Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department
spokesman Jack Carson said Thursday.
The state Legislature appropriated $5 million for the vehicles
this year after one of Oklahoma's worst wildfire seasons. The fire
departments represent more than 25 percent of the state's rural
Piedmont Fire Chief Mike Southard said his department will
retrieve its new truck as soon as possible. The 22-volunteer
department has two brush-pumpers, but one is nearly inoperable.
"These trucks, they just get beat to death, and this one was
just in bad shape, and I did not know whether it was going to make
it another year," Southard said. "We did not have the funds to
replace it ourselves, and this couldn't come at a better time."
State Agriculture Secretary Terry Peach said departments were
selected based on the condition of their vehicles, number of fire
responses, number of residents served and location.
Most fire departments will move equipment from older trucks to
new ones, Peach said.
Lexington Fire Chief Harry Grider said the pumpers being
provided by the state to rural departments would cost about $26,000
each, an amount his department can't afford. Early indications this
year show the winter fire season could be as bad as last year's,
The Lexington department works with nine other departments as
part of the Cleveland County Task Force.
"This is a blessing," Grider said. "Matter of fact, we have
been looking for a truck because we had a motor go down on one of
them. We just about exhausted our resources until the Department of
Agriculture came up and helped us with this one."
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com
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11-17-2006, 09:15 AM #1
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11-17-2006, 10:46 AM #2
It is nice to see the state taking the responsibility to help the underfunded departments that need a little help. Although its been said many times before that funding should be delt with on the local level, and I agree to some extent, I also think that the state should take some responsibility. Congrads to the departments getting these trucks.
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