MORRIS, AL - There is only one reason fire departments get rid of a firetruck, according to Morris Fire Lt. Charlie Robertson. "Because it's worn out. It's shot."

That's exactly why the Morris Fire Department will be getting rid of its 1985-model truck that the town bought used more than five years ago. The department will replace it with a brand-new truck with the more than $215,000 it received recently from a federal grant.

"And it will be the first new truck that the town's bought in more than 25 years," Robertson said.

The grant requires the town to match with 5 percent, which would be more than $10,700. The council likely will have to pay for the truck to be equipped, too, Robertson said.

"But it will be up to all the (National Fire Protection Association) standards," he said, "The truck we have right now is not up to those standards."

Firefighters who work for Morris' Volunteer Fire Department will help design the new truck, said Mayor Craig Drummonds.

"This has been a goal of ours for several years," Drummonds said. "We'll have better equipment and better technology."

Right now, the department maintains two fire engines and a rescue truck. The 1985 truck will be retired and the new truck will become the lead engine, Drummonds said. The new truck will also enable all the firefighters to ride inside a cab instead of outside.

"When they pull up on a fire, they can come out of the truck now fully-equipped," he said. "That will save anywhere from one to two minutes of time. That amount of time is extremely important in a fire situation."

With the residential growth northern Jefferson County is experiencing, it becomes even more important to have the right kind of fire-fighting equipment, Drummonds said.

The main thing we want to do is grow our police and fire, he said. "This will definitely put us right where we need to be at this time as we move forward with development."