Valley Grande Fire Department gets upgrade

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

VALLEY GRANDE – The Valley Grande Volunteer Fire Department has gotten an upgrade.

The department has traded its 1982 E-one pumper truck for a 1989 model. The truck holds 500 gallons of water and pumps it out at a rate of 1,250 gallons per minute.

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The city purchased the fire engine from Mississippi-based Deep South Fire Truck Inc., and cost about $60,000.

Public Safety Director Boyd Pugh said the purchase was a good one.

“If you buy a new one, it’s $350,000 to $500,000,” said Pugh. “It’s according to what you get on them.”

Pugh said the department is on a fixed budget. It operates mostly on state funds. The city contributes $10 per year. Even if the funds are not in place, the search for new trucks is ongoing.

“Whenever you can find a decent deal, you just keep searching, and when you’ve got enough funds to do it, you just do it,” said Pugh. “It may take a year, it may take 5 years.”

The newer model has a five-man cab, whereas the 1982 model could only seat three firefighters. Valley Grande has 18 volunteer firemen.

Tyler Taormina, executive assistant at Deep South, said the trucks are built or refurbished at the company’s factory in Seminary, Miss. The trucks can be custom built or refurbished to customer specifications.

“We’re getting some used stuff, but it’s much more modern used stuff,” said Valley Grande Mayor Tom Lee.

The Summerfield Volunteer Fire Department is also in the process of acquiring a new truck.

In addition to upgrading its equipment, Valley Grande is expanding it’s fire coverage area with a substation in Ocmulgee. Two trucks are going to that station.

Lee expects to have bids on the project awarded by the end of August and construction to begin by September.

“We got a long way to go, but we’re getting there,” said Lee.