Interim Fire Chief Troy Spence presented a used truck from Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus that would meet the department’s needs. The truck was priced at $79,000. Troy said the truck had low mileage and could hold 10 firefighters.
A reserve truck is important to keep the same number of engines available when one is being serviced.
“When we borrowed the money for the buildings, there was also some money that was borrowed (for a reserve engine),” Spence said.
There was $60,000 included for a reserve engine in the money borrowed, according to Spence. Spence is trying to find the additional $19,000 through savings in the purchase of new equipment. Some Homeland Security funding was able to be used for radio equipment, Spence said.
Fire Board member Ed Elkins said he had not been aware this funding was included. Spence said he had been told about it by Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis.
Spence said not having a reserve engine could negatively affect the department’s ISO rating.
Board member Bruce Bradford expressed concern about certification a few years from now because of the age of the engine. Spence said fire engines can be recertified by having some engine work and inspections done. The Fire Board approved moving forward with purchasing the engine, if the additional $19,000 can be found.
Information on a potential tanker truck the department is considering was presented. Spence said the tanker being considered was “much safer” than the tanker it would be replacing.
Board members also saw pictures of the new engines being built for the new fire stations.
Construction on the Minnis Road station has made progress. The main walls of the structure could be seen in an updated photo of the site presented to the board. Board member Dana Burgner asked about the steepness of the driveway into the station. Spence said there is work still to be done.
“This station ... was moved forward 30 feet because they knew they could save money by not having to excavate behind the site,” Spence said.
He said this affected the steepness of the area right in front of the station.
“They’re (county engineering) telling me they have done the engineering work and it should work,” Spence said.
The fire station, except for the bay area, will be used as a storm shelter during inclement weather. The building is constructed from cement blocks with steel rods and poured concrete reinforcement. The roof will be concrete with insulation and a rubber roof on top. Each of the three new stations will be the same.
“They are telling us that April 10 will be the completion date on this,” Spence said. “I really think they can get that knocked out sooner.”
Soil issues at the Waterville site are causing delays. The issues will be resolved as part of a change order to the project by the construction company. There will not be additional costs to the county, according to Spence.
The department is still working with 911 to establish whether the city or the county would be dispatched to a fire. Dispatches do not look at which has a fire station closer to the fire, but at boundary lines. However, sometimes both departments have been dispatched to areas that are unsure. Spence said he had been in discussions with the Cleveland Fire Department Chief about each department covering structures close to stations, even if they were out of the department’s official boundaries.
“I believe what they said was the city line will be the city line,” Spence said.
Commission chairman Louie Alford asked if BCFR would respond to a fire across the street from a county station, even if the structure was in the city.
Spence said yes.
Both departments will still call for mutual aid to the other department.