Lee Co. in need of new fire engines - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. in need of new fire engines

Ron Rabun Ron Rabun
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Firefighters need the right equipment to put out fires and save lives. That's why Lee County officials are urging commissioners to include a new engine in this years budget. 

This is one of five fire engines spread out between the five stations in Lee County. And it's also part of an aging fleet.

"Some of our fire trucks need to be replaced. We had an expensive year for maintenance this year, which just shows that the fire trucks are aging. And so I'm hoping to begin replacing those slowly, maybe one a year for the next two, three years," said Ron Rabun, the Lee County manager.

This is the only back up truck they have in case one breaks down.

"It's been recycled from the Georgia Forestry unit and so it was already old when we got it. So that's our back up and that's our problem. If we have an engine go down, that one back up is pretty old itself," explained Rabun.

Rabun says having up-to-date engines is a matter of safety.

"It's a public safety issue, it's not an emergency issue for us, but it's one we want to take care of in a timely matter in the next budget," said Rabun.

Rabun says a new fire engine could cost between $250,000 and $260,000 and would be funded with SPLOST money.

"In January we had a retreat with our board of commissioners where we talked about the needs of the county and our goals for the county for the following year. And it was well recognized by the full board in that retreat that we needed to have some additional equipment for our fire department," said Rabun.

While the commissioners are aware of the problem, it's up to them to approve the budget, allowing the county to buy a new engine.

Rabun says they'll also look at the option of buying a gently used fire engine.

Public hearings on the budget will be held June 10th and 24th.

 

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