AFD waiting on grant for fire truck

Published 11:08 am Monday, June 27, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
They say good things come to those who wait.
Atmore Fire and Rescue Department Chief Gerry McGhee is hoping that's true.
The department applied for a grant to purchase a pump truck through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on April 8. After nearly three months, there's still no answer.
"We have not heard from them yet," McGhee said.
Although the department has three pump trucks; a 1976, '84, and '95, McGhee said its time to hang up the oldest trucks keys and retire it to a reserve truck.
"Some of our trucks are getting old, so we're going to try to get another one and put one of our older trucks on reserve," McGhee said. "They're in good shape; they pass the pump test and everything. The new truck would be our first responder."
Besides being old, McGhee fears that as the current trucks get older one may start having problems. He just wants to make sure the community has top-notch fire protection.
"Any time a truck gets old, it can possibly to breakdown, so if you can get a new one, it's nice to have them on standby," McGhee said.
McGhee said the new pump truck has a price tag of about $180,000. If the grant is approved the new truck would pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute and store 1,000 gallons of water, but McGhee said it out of his hands.
"That's up to FEMA, we might not get it," McGhee said. "They'll go over the application and if they see that we need it, they'll give us the funds."
As for the firemen on staff, McGhee said they're anxious to receive the approval letter and put a new truck in service.
"Any time you might be getting a new piece of equipment everybody gets excited, so we're just sitting and waiting," he said.

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