Northeast Union Fire Department

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Northeast Fire Dept. Purchases New Rescue/Fire Response Truck

New Albany Gazette Logo The text of this article was originally published in the New Albany Gazette in July, 2009
Rescue Truck Northeast Fire Dept. Purchases New Rescue/Fire Response Truck

The Northeast Fire Department’s newest piece of equipment will help to significantly improve its responses to threatening situations, the department’s chief Butch Cobb says.

The department was able to purchase a 2009 Ford F-550 for use as a rescue/wildland fire response vehicle, with the help of a 2008 Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
“The new AFG funded vehicle has enhanced our ability to respond to emergency incidents throughout the region,” Cobb said. “We’re better prepared to respond to all types of emergencies as a result of this program.”

The new truck is equipped with a poly tank capable of carrying 400 gallons and 27 HP Diesel powered pump capable of pumping 250 gallons per minute.  It also comes equipped with “The Jaws of life,” used in emergency situations.

This is good news, Cobb says, for a 30-member volunteer department that covers approximately 70 square miles with a population of 4,770.  This area includes 660 homes, 50 barns, nine businesses and eight churches.  Cobb said the department averages 50 to 60 calls a year.

“Our department has come a long way since the AFG program was started,” Cobb said.  “All efforts should be made to maintain the funding for this program.”

Since 2002 Northeast Union Fire Department has received more than $500,000 through grant programs to purchase equipment, much of which has come through the AFG program.

However, Cobb says, a decision by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to approve $380 million in FY 2010 funding for the AFG program – a reduction of $185 million from the previous year – could not come at a worse time.

“It is extremely important that members of Congress hear from the citizens of Mississippi that this funding reduction is not alright,” Cobb said.  “AFG is the single most important source of federal assistance for the fire departments of Mississippi.  Without fully funding the program, fire departments will to have delay purchasing new equipment and replacing old equipment.”