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Troup County to purchase $1 million firetruck

The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved a request from the Troup Fire Department to purchase an aerial apparatus firetruck for $955,085. Another $100,000 will be spent on extra equipment — a hose, communication equipment, extrication equipment, heavy duty struts and thermal imaging cameras, for a total cost of about $1.075 million.

In layman’s terms, an aerial apparatus is a firetruck mounted with an extendable boom/ladder. They are used to create higher vantage points for spraying water and creating ventilation and are also an access route for rescues.

The vehicle is an E-One HP78. Its ladder can extend out 78 feet.

“It’s all about strategies and tactics for the safety of our firefighters,” TCFD Chief John Ekaitis told commissioners. “It’s a big toolbox. … people state ‘Well why does Troup County need a ladder truck?’ We needed one a long time ago. This is not a luxury item.”

TCFD had originally estimated the total cost to be about $1.2 million.

The county opted to do a pre-payment option that will save them about $20,000, about a 2 percent discount, by paying 75 percent of the cost up-front. The county will pay about $731,200 now and then about $223,900 upon delivery of the vehicle.

The county received one other bid for the aerial apparatus, a Pierce 75-foot Enforcer Quint, at $999,995.

The county also approved a request from the Roads and Engineering Department to purchase a new excavator — a 2019 Gradall Discovery D154 4X4 — for $282,100.

The vehicle is a highway-capable multi-function wheeled excavator that allows one operator to drive out to a job site, work on the job and return to the department without additional vehicles, trailers, equipment or staff. It will be used for tasks such as clearing away storm debris, ditch maintenance and other jobs.

The department’s primary Gradall is 15 years old, with 6,200 hours on it. Roads and engineering staff said maintenance on the vehicle is time-consuming and expensive, and not having it is “detrimental” to operations. Road Superintendent Kevin Kinnersley said the department uses it nearly every day.

The price of the machine includes a discount of about $9,600 because it is a demo machine. Some items are included at no extra cost, including a grapple attachment, LED work light kit, step extensions, fire extinguisher and caution lights.

Part of the deal, which is being struck with Columbus-based Tractor & Equipment Company, is a 2-year warranty. The warranty includes a provision that, should the machine go into maintenance for more than 72 hours, the county will be provided with a loaned vehicle to limit downtime.

Along with approving the purchases, commissioners also had to approve an amendment to the fiscal year 2021 budget to allocate $282,100 into the Road Department so it could purchase the Gradall.

The amendment also added $872,857 of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds into the general fund.

TCFD also introduced 11 recruit school graduates: Caleb Austin, Kelvin Crawl, Andrew Hawkins, Jordan Johnson, Joseph Medeiros, Catharina Palmer, Kaylen Scarborough, Jake Shattles, Hector Tirado, Hunter White and Marcus Wiggins.