County buys used water tanker for $4K

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Decatur County Fire and Rescue has added a 5,000-gallon water tanker truck to its fleet of trucks, and the purchase only cost $4,000.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners, County Administrator Gary Breedlove told the commissioners that County Fire Chief Charlie McCann was able to purchase the tanker truck from the U.S. Marine Corps base in Albany, Ga. Breedlove said that the vehicle was considered surplus, allowing the DCFR to purchase it at a significant discount.

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The Albany USMC base purchased the vehicle several years ago at a cost of $174,000, and it is still in prime working condition. Breedlove said that when the county bought the tanker, it was being used to transport fuel and was painted in USMC colors and signage. The county has since repainted it to match the other trucks in the DCFR fleet.

Breedlove said that the tanker could allow the county to improve on its ISO rating, which could also improve insurance rates for county citizens. Currently, the county has a rating of “5” for areas that are within five miles of a fire station, and “9” for any areas that are located more than five miles from a fire station. Previously, the county’s ratings were “6” and “9,” respectively.

However, Breedlove noted that the new water tanker could allow the county to potentially lower that “9” rating. He said that one “test” ISO regulators will give is to make sure that firefighters in outlying areas can guarantee water pressure of 250 gallons-per-minute for two hours.

Although the new tanker technically only allows for about 20 minutes of water pressure at 250 gallons-per-minute, that is still more capacity than the DCFR’s current 2,500-gallon tankers.

“You’ll have to establish a teamwork shuttle in order to get all the water that you need, in order to make that two-hour test work,” Breedlove said. “However, this is a big addition to the possibility of passing that test.”

After Breedlove’s explanation of the tanker, the commission took a short recess to view it in the county administration building’s parking lot.