VFD Chief Phillips proposes aggressive three-year plan

Grady County Fire Chief Richard Phillips outlined for the Grady County Commission on Tuesday an aggressive three year plan for the Volunteer Fire Department designed to lower the cost of fire insurance for county homeowners.
In order to reduce the Insurance Service Office fire class for the county Phillips says a minimum of four VFD substations with class A pumpers will need to be constructed and equipped.
The total project cost is over $400,000 and Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar said that unless the county is awarded grants for the project, $155,900 would need to be added to the general fund in 2017 and $155,900 in 2018 to fully fund the plan.
Rather than attempt to purchase new pumpers, Chief Phillips is recommending outfitting surplus U.S. military vehicles to serve as pumpers.
“The military has $4.5 million invested in the trucks we have acquired and the county has less than $5,000 invested in them,” Chief Phillips said.
Commissioner Charles Norton questioned if the county chief could obtain parts for the surplus military vehicles and Chief Phillips responded yes. A 2007 model the county recently acquired only has 5,000 miles on it, according to the county fire chief.
Phillips is estimating the construction of each substation, which will be 20 x 40 x 16, at $86,800 each. The substation would be strategically placed so that nearly every home in the unincorporated areas of the county are within five road miles of a VFD station or substation.
Commissioners applauded Phillips for his multi-year plan and presentation. They also encouraged him to seek out as much grant funding as possible to help finance the plan.

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