The Long County Fire Department recently bought a brush truck to improve the department’s ability to fight brush and woods fires.
The truck was purchased through the Firefighter Property Program and converted into a fire truck by Chief Chris Moss and members of the department, according to a news release from the county. The Firefighter Property Program is part of the Department of Defense, allowing fire departments to obtain excess property to be used for firefighting and emergency services.
"As many of you are aware Long County is no stranger to brush fires," Moss said. "The overall price of this truck from start to finish was around $9,000. Similar brush trucks with fewer options start out at $180,000."
Last year the department also used SPLOST funds to replace one of the department’s class A engines after it became unrepairable and was in need of replacement.
"This normally would have been a very huge financial burden to the county but luckily after many road trips and phone calls, we were able to purchase a used fire truck with SPLOST funds for $28,000. A new custom truck with the same specifications would have cost over $400,000," the chief said.
Moss said SPLOST funds were also used to buy two sets of extrication equipment, also known as "jaws-of-life" to improve the department’s readiness in responding to car wrecks.
"The old jaws-of-life units did not have enough power to cut through some of the new metals being used in today’s passenger vehicles," Moss said. "After researching new and used equipment, we bought two sets that had been used for demonstrations. These sets had the same warranty as new ones, but we got them for a fraction of the cost."
Long County Commission Chairman Mike Riddle said, "All of us commissioners appreciate our firefighters for the tough job that they do, we also appreciate Chief Moss’s efforts to use our citizens tax dollars as wisely as he has been doing since he came on board with the county."
Riddle is a firefighter for Hinesville Fire Department.
"We also appreciate our citizens for continuing to support SPLOST," he said. "This one penny goes towards, not only public safety like fire trucks, but also towards recreation and roads. It is so vital to a county like ours and all I can say is thank you."