COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Forestry Commission unveiled 10 new closed-cab fire suppression units at a press conference. The new units will replace existing units in the Commission’s fleet. The state is covered by 13 million acres of forest, covering two-thirds of the state. For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the State budget set aside $3 million to replace firefighting equipment. This funding source was used to pay for the new fire suppression units.
The closed-cab units feature air filtration and cooling systems designed to protect the operator. These units also provide a safe place where an operator can remain if the vehicle is overtaken by a flame front.
According to the South Carolina Forestry Association, the Forestry Commission requested $24.5 million for FY 2012-2013. Out of that amount, $13.25 million of that was one-time funding to replace equipment more than 15 years old in the Commission’s fleet. In March, the South Carolina’s House of Representatives added $3.5 million in one-time funds for fire equipment in the Commission’s FY 2012-2013 budget.
Below is a video of the press conference where the units were presented.