VFD Coordinator Wayne Hadden and Firefighter Richard Phillips gave Grady County commissioners a demonstration and conducted an inspection of the new unit Tuesday morning following the county commission meeting.
The new 2014 Dodge 5500 cost $105,800 fully equipped and was purchased with a combination of 2002 and 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds earmarked for VFD equipment, according to Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar.
The truck was purchased from Fouts Bros. of Smyrna, Ga.
The new unit will replace a 2005 Ford F350 that county officials say is very unreliable and has a chassis that was not sufficient for the load the truck was required to carry.
The new Dodge is super heavy duty and, in addition to extrication equipment and other tools, the truck has a 250-gallon water tank and pump.
“If we get to the scene soon enough, 250 gallons of water could make the difference in saving a house or not,” Hadden said.
“We are very excited to get a reliable vehicle so that we can respond in a timely fashion,” County Administrator Tobar said.
He added, “This new truck will improve the overall safety of our citizens.”
Grady VFD Coordinator Hadden also expressed appreciation to the county commission for purchasing the vehicle.
“This truck will serve the people well. We have a feeling of relief to know we have a truck that will get us where we need to be,” Hadden said.
The county will surplus the 2005 Ford F350 and will auction it off to the highest bidder, according to Tobar.
During the weekday, the rescue truck is manned by Firefighter/Trainer Phillips and after hours VFD members take turns operating it.
Hadden and Tobar also briefed the board on Phillips’ recent certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.
“We are very proud of Richard earning EMT status, and I know he is happy to have that behind him,” Chief Hadden said.
Tobar said, “I am very proud of him. I appreciate county staff working to improve their skill sets in ways that can help us better serve the citizens of Grady County.”
Phillips also serves as the chief of the Spence Volunteer Fire Station.
In related news, the board of commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of $79,999.52 of new firefighting equipment including Scott Air Packs, chain saws, power generators and other equipment.
The purchases will be made with funds the commissioners budgeted for VFD equipment in the 2014 operating budget. Approximately $22,500 remains in the VFD account to cover purchases for the remainder of 2014.