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New Fire Truck Will Be Assigned To Velma

Approval of a new fire truck by supervisors last week means this truck at Velma Fire Department will be replaced.

By David Howell

Editor


WATER VALLEY – Supervisors approved the purchase of a new tanker fire truck for the county utilizing the state’s Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Program (RFTAAP) fund that will cover well over half of the estimated quarter-million dollar purchase price.

EMA Director Frank Hyde reported at last Monday’s recessed meeting that the county will be required to allocate $90,000 in matching funds from the county to purchase the new pumper that will likely be assigned to Velma Fire Department, money that he has in his budget.  Hyde also told supervisors that if any additional matching money is required, it will come from fire insurance rebate money the county receives each year. 

Hyde has utilized the state program to purchase new trucks for county departments for more than two decades. The new truck will replace a pumper at Velma Fire Department, one of the oldest in the county purchased with RFTAAP money.  

“If you go way back in history, that was the second truck we purchased with this RFTAAP money,” Hyde added.  “That truck is my highest mileage truck,” he added, explaining the central location of Velma’s fire department allows response to assist other departments across the county and more wear and tear on the truck.

“The rest of the stations are in good shape, truck wise,” Hyde also explained.

RFTAAP was created in 1995 to help volunteer fire departments purchase new fire trucks. District 33 Representative Tommy Reynolds has been a staunch supporter of the program.

“It is important that we do what we can to strengthen the capacities of our rural fire departments to provide a safer environment for our citizens,” Reynolds noted during his support of the bill funding the program during the 2018 Legislative Session. Passage of the bill marked the first time RFTAAP had been funded by the state in several years.  

“It’s also important that we make sure our firefighters, most of whom are serving voluntarily, are operating with the best and safest equipment.”

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