VFDs get new fire trucks

Published 10:54 am Friday, June 22, 2012

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, Chief Ranger Rodney Heard, Ranger Van Smith, Kendrick VFD Captain Gater Bryant, Decatur County Forestry Unit Mitigation Specialist Tina Nix, Fire and Rescue Chief Charlie McCann, Mt. Pleasant VFD Captain Greg Brock and Ranger Johnny Barwick.

Decatur County Fire and Rescue and the county’s volunteer firefighting stations are saving money on new trucks, with the help of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The Decatur County Forestry Unit recently presented two refurbished tanker fire trucks to the captains of two local volunteer fire departments: Kendrick VFD, off Spring Creek Road, and Mt. Pleasant VFD, off Vada Road.

Tanker trucks have high water-storing capacities and are primarily used to help fight house fires, although they can also be used on brush fires and small vehicle fires. Purchased new, tanker trucks can cost more than $200,000, Fire and Rescue Chief Charlie McCann said.

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Kendrick’s truck carries 1,650 gallons of water, while Mt. Pleasant’s carries 2,500 gallons, the same capacity as the tanker truck used by Fire and Rescue, McCann said. The two trucks cost Decatur County just $36,000 and $39,000, respectively, the fire chief said.

“That cost included the materials and labor for putting the trucks together,” McCann said. “The truck chassis came from Georgia Forestry trucks that the state had declared surplus. We had to buy things like tool boxes and paint which were used for the trucks’ bodies, and used some of our own spare firefighting equipment to get them ready for use.”

Each of the tankers has the ability to use hoses from one inch to 2.5 inches in diameter. Each truck has two pre-connected hoses that our already hooked up to the truck’ s small motor-powered pumping units, so that firefighters can just grab them and start fighting fires as soon as they arrive at a scene. The trucks also have booster lines, hoses that are mainly used to fight grass fires, as well as two fire extinguishers.

Decatur County Chief Ranger Rodney Heard said Georgia Forestry has refurbished about five used trucks for local volunteer fire departments over the past few years. The VFDs in Attapulgus, Fowlstown, Recovery and Brinson are some of the places the trucks are kept at in the event of an emergency.