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New fire vehicles boost department
Truck WEB
Firefighters and family members push a new ladder truck into Fire Station 14, a tradition that dates back to horse-drawn equipment. - photo by Jim Dean

The Forsyth County Fire Department has added two new vehicles — a 100-foot ladder truck and engine — to its fleet.

In a statement, Fire Chief Danny Bowman called the equipment “important components of the department’s five-year plan.”

“They are critical pieces of equipment that will, without question, assist our firefighters as they perform their daily fire suppression and emergency response missions,” he said.

“They will also help boost departmental efficiency and enhance the safety of our personnel.”
Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the ladder truck is the third the department has bought. With the most recent purchase, one of the older ladder trucks will be rotated into the department’s reserve fleet, which is used when front-line units undergo maintenance.

“That gives us three [ladder trucks] in total in our entire fleet,” Shivers said. “The one that the new one replaced went to our reserve because we didn’t have any [ladder trucks] in reserve. So now we have two front line and one reserve.”

The ladder truck was paid for through the county’s current 1-cent sales tax, which was approved by voters in 2008. It is housed at Station 14 on McFarland Parkway in south Forsyth.

Shivers said the new engine was part of the fire department’s annual budget.

“Engines, we try to buy one of those every year,” he said. “That’s a part of our short-range and long-range plan to buy one engine per year.”

The new engine is based at Station 7, which opened in June 2011 in the Silver City community of north Forsyth.

With the new engine, Shivers said, the department has 12 staffed engines in service, and four in reserve.

He said each type of vehicle serves an important role for the department. Ladder trucks are “critical components” of every firefighting operation.

He said some of their functions include spraying water down onto the tops fires from overhead, and allowing firefighters to ventilate the structure that is on fire.

They are also used to search for and rescue any people or animals trapped inside a burning structure, as well as for salvage and to disconnect utilities after a fire.

He called engines the “backbone of the department,” as they are used to respond to all incidents, including fires, wrecks and medical emergencies.

 “They are all designed and intended to last for 15 to 20 years,” he said.

Other fire department projects scheduled to receive sales tax funding include a new Station 4, which is under construction in the Ducktown area of west Forsyth, and a new Station 3 in the Matt community in northwestern Forsyth.

Construction on the Matt station is expected to begin later this year.