HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg fire department is asking for "Sprint" Trucks in their budget proposals, in hopes it will benefit the department and save the city money.
Majority of the calls the department responds to are medical calls, meaning a smaller truck or a Sprint Truck could be used instead of a full-size engine.
"The medical response is the largest percentage of our emergency response calls, whether it be a home emergency response, a wreck out on the road or some kind of workplace accident," said Hattiesburg Fire Department Fire Marshal Stephen Mooney.
"If you had a couple of Sprint Trucks not only could you meet those needs and still keep our great response times, but you also lessen the wear and tear on our larger trucks," said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker.
"Anything that we can do to lower the usage of our larger apparatus, which has huge fees for maintenance and upkeep, would help keep our budget in check,"Mooney said. "Anytime that we can do something that will lower the cost of our operating overhead then that's a benefit to not only us but the city as a whole."
Barker agreed that the investment would be a good one for the city.
"By making this small investment of a couple of Sprint Trucks, you're less likely to have to replace your larger trucks as frequently," Barker said.
Mooney said it will also help with response times, smaller trucks are easier to maneuver in heavy traffic.
"Quicker response from the time we get the call, to the time that we get to the person in need is better all the way around, that's our primary goal," he said.
In a recent budget proposal from Hattiesburg Fire Chief Paul Presley, he said the medical calls are roughly 60 percent of the departments calls, but that number is likely higher.
"Those are situations where you don't need to send a big truck or a pumper to go meet that need," said Barker.
"A sprint truck….in my mind, it's what we need, it is a smaller, a quicker response that can address the medical response," Mooney said. "In the end, the less we can move our big trucks, the less wear and tear that we have on them, the longer they will last, things just are not made the way they used to be made so they don't last as long but cost are more."
More details involving the budget proposals will be ironed out in the upcoming city council meeting on August 22nd.