“It has been a project in the making,” said Assistant Fire Chief Byron Sutton.
“When Atlanta Gas Light receives new vehicles for their fleet, they like to donate the used ones to public service agencies such as ours,” said Sutton. “Capt. Heath Smith made some calls and he and Fire Chief David Hawkins were able to secure this vehicle for our fleet.”
Sutton said, “We’ve had the vehicle for a year or so. With the economy the way it is, and our budget as tight as it has been the last couple of years, it’s taken a little longer than we would have liked to obtain the necessary exterior emergency lighting and other necessary equipment. The biggest hold up was getting it repainted. It went from Atlanta Gas Light’s blue and white to what you see today. We were able to save the cost of labor on the paint job by allowing the Georgia Department of Corrections inmate program to paint it for us. We had to wait some time for them to work it in to their schedule, but they did a good job.”
So, what’s the plan for it now that it’s complete?
Sutton said, “It will serve the department as a service vehicle, with the vehicle designation of Service 1. We’ve already placed equipment on the apparatus that was a benefit to the department during the recent ISO inspection. There is specific extra equipment that can be carried to the scene of an incident that ISO gives us credit for if we have it; equipment such as spare breathing air cylinders, lighting, ladders, salvage covers, just to name a few.”
“I’d like to extend my gratitude to all those who’ve had a hand in getting this vehicle ready for service. Capt. Heath Smith and Chief (David) Hawkins for working so diligently to obtain the vehicle and having it painted; the Georgia Department of Corrections for their work on painting the vehicle; Southern Fire Service and Sales of Jasper, Ga., for their expertise in applying the emergency light package; Baldy’s Muffler for repair of the exhaust system; Tracy Thompson of Thompson Business Services for the striping and lettering; and to the rest of those in the department for placing of equipment, etc.”
“She’s got some age on her, but I”m sure she’s glad to have a good home, rather than sitting in a bone yard somewhere. Furthermore, we’re glad to have her,” said Sutton.