January 31, 2008
County agrees to help buy rescue truck
The Holly Springs Fire Department is on its way toward acquiring a supply truck that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Fire chief Kenny Holbrook explained to the Marshall County Board of Supervisors why the new truck is needed and how costs could be shared between the City of Holly Springs and the county.
The truck is needed to quickly deploy Homeland Security supplies, he said. Heavy equipment like air tanks could be carried to a location conveniently and quickly and would be stored in the vehicle, he said.
The truck is also equipped with high powered flood lights to work after-dark incidents and can also be used as a command post to coordinate efforts of various relief and recovery agencies.
Currently hazardous materials handling equipment and supplies are stored in pull-along units and take more time to deploy, Holbrook said. The department will continue to use the trailers to store some hazardous materials containment equipment and supplies.
Grant monies to purchase this vehicle, estimated to cost between $300,000 and $350,000, are not available as fire grants typically are used to purchase water tankers and pumpers - equipment of higher priority, he said.
The city would pay about $30,000 a year and the county would pay about $15,000 a year in ball park figures, depending on the actual cost of the vehicle. Payments would not begin until after the first year of purchase, giving local governments time to include the expenditure in their next year’s budgets. The city would pay the insurance while the truck is being paid for, Holbrook said.
Because HSPD has mutual aid agreements with the rural fire departments in the county as well as with the state, the support truck will be available for incidents anywhere it is needed.
“This is a fine truck that will last about 20 years,” Holbrook said. “It is already on wheels so there will be no need for hooking up and dragging trailers. Trailers cannot support the weight of some of this equipment like air tanks.”
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas said he believes the supply truck is needed and that people have confidence in the Holly Springs firefighters.
“When I see them on a scene, I breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.
Holbrook said his department has the call volume to justify purchase of the supply truck.
“We go to a lot of auto extrications and we do not bill,” he said, adding that extra emergency medical equipment will be included.
The truck has a custom-built cab and includes the same safety features a regular vehicle carries, such as air bags and roll-over protection.
With this preliminary discussion, supervisor George Zinn III motioned to proceed with an agreement to provide up to $15,000 a year to help pay off the notes on the truck, supervisor Willie Flemon seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Holbrook then briefed supervisors on other items on the planning board.
An Enhanced-911 grant application which will replace phone equipment and add a computer-aided dispatch system at 911 looks like it may be approved, he said. The grant, if approved, will include $470,000 for purchase of equipment and the city and county would split the money required for a local match to get the grant.
He has also applied for an EMSII grant from the state for purchasing equipment upgrades for ambulances that serve the area. The money will also be used for firefighters to do first responder work.
The equipment will provide support for 10 members per station, he said.
Other expenditures include the purchase of equipment for tracking frequencies emitted from bracelets worn by Alzheimer’s patients. The Pilot Club will supply the bracelets.
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