March 20, 2003

Fire Department Coming To The Rescue With New Rescue Unit

The Scotland County Fire Department is coming to the rescue, and they will be doing it in a new truck. Following approval by the city and the rural fire corporation boards, the department will be purchasing a new rescue truck.

A key component of the service provided by the local volunteer fire department doesn't even involve flames. The rescue unit is utilized at vehicle accidents to extricate victims and during a given year can be called on as often as the fire department.

In addition to the vehicle extrication equipment the rescue unit also houses key tools used in fire fighting such as the department's exhaust fan, and K-12 saw used to cut through roofs. Extra air bottles for the firemen's air packs are also found on the rescue truck.

"The truck is a key component of our response," stated Fire Chief Roger Gosney. "The Rescue Unit is sort of a catch all with a lot of important equipment and it is the second truck to roll to the scene right behind the mini-pumper."

Gosney presented a proposal to the city council regarding the purchase of the new rescue unit for the fire department at the council's March 6th meeting.

Gosney indicated the firemen have agreed to purchase a new GMC chasis and to install a new 10-foot Mickey bed on the truck. The estimated cost of the new fire truck will be approximately $33,700 with the cost to be split between the city and the rural fire corporation.

The department spent several months considering the project. A committee led by fireman Carl Trueblood presented the final report at the department's March 5 meeting and the project was approved.

Gosney noted the fire department has agreed to pay to outfit the new truck with a light bar, radios and other accessories from the firemen's fund.

The fire chief noted the city would likely recoup $3,000 to $4,000 when the old rescue unit, a 1976 model Chevy, is sold to a surrounding fire department.

"In my opinion we have the best fire department around, by far and away," stated Mayor Ron Alexander. "You guys are the best so I for one would like to see you with the best equipment."

The city council voted 4-0 to approve its half of the purchase of the new fire truck.

Less than a week later the board for the Scotland County Rural Fire Corporation also voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the new rescue unit during a special meeting March 11 at the fire station.

The new fire truck will provide the department with improved access to the most utilized rescue and extrication equipment including the jaws of life. The design of the new truck bed will allow quicker access to equipment and materials via exterior doors.

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