County Commissioners OK purchase of fire truck for Greenhead

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 03:06 PM.

CHIPLEY — Washington County Commissioners agreed Wednesday to help Greenhead Volunteer Fire Department purchase a used tanker/firetruck, but not without some debate over who would actually own the vehicle.

The Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting to consider the purchase so the $55,000 firetruck could be bought in a timely fashion. Fire Chief Jim Palmer told the commissioners the Greenhead department had put a binder on the truck and it was being held for them.

Palmer said he had been searching for a truck for the department for two years, and this truck, a combination fire truck and tanker, was just what the department needed for the south end of Washington County. “It meets our needs and our budget,” he said.

“The key to success is getting water to the scene,” Palmer said. “We don’t have any hydrants in the south of the county.” Since fire hydrants aren’t available, the rural firefighters have to take their own water to the scene, and keep replenishing that supply.

“The key is having a reliable tanker.” Palmer said the tanker truck the department currently has is a manual transmission and not just anyone can drive it. The truck the department is purchasing is an automatic and is easier to drive. Also, the truck features remote dumping capacity, so that the truck’s water can be unloaded from inside the cab.

“If there is a fire in the daytime, we might just have two people show up,” Palmer said, a hazard all the rural volunteer fire departments face since the majority of the firefighters are working at their daytime jobs.

With the new truck, a smaller crew could respond to a fire and both have tanker capacity and fire fighting tools.

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