Peach County Excited Over New Fire Trucks

September 28, 2009

FORT VALLEY, GA - The Peach County Fire Department recently rolled out two new $293,000 engines purchased with special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) and departmental funds, according to Macon.com.

The engines replace a 1982 fire truck and a 1989 fire truck. One of the older trucks has been sold to Taylor County, Macon.com reported.

The department's fleet includes seven fire engines, a dozen tankers, four brush trucks, two air and light support trucks, a 111-foot ladder truck, and one snorkel (bucket) truck, department officials told Macon.com. The department has six stations and covers about 151 square miles.

"I'm ecstatic about them," said Assistant Chief Tim Bechtel, who was among the firefighters who traveled to Lyons, S.D., to take delivery of the new trucks. "It's been a while since we've gotten something new."

Peach County firefighters are known for their thriftiness and abilities to transform vehicles and build stations. One of the brush trucks, for example, was converted by firefighters from its original function as a Fort Valley garbage truck. Firefighters purchased a 1,500 gallon tanker from military surplus for $300, reported Macon.com.

Bechtel said the new equipment, especially two new fire trucks, will stir up morale. "When firefighters find out they have a new toy, it helps them to rise up more."

The new trucks are equipped with 1,000-gallon water tanks and are capable of pumping 1,250 gallons a minute, which will help speed up delivery of the water to fires.

Other improvements over the older trucks include a bigger cab that allows a better view of traffic and can carry six firefighters instead of two. The seats are built so that firefighters sit down and buckle up into fire fighting gear mounted on the seats. In addition, a center control panel on a platform between the cab and the back of the truck solves the previous problem on the old trucks' side panel that often placed a firefighter at the controls with his back to oncoming traffic at a fire scene, according to Macon.com.


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