LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Some of the fire engines at both the Southeast Lamar and Hickory Grove Volunteer Fire Departments need repairs and replacing.
“Fire protection is a public service. What firefighters do is save lives and properties," said Lamar County Fire Coordinator, George Stevens.
The Lamar County Board of Supervisors approved for the departments to apply for supplement grants to get new trucks on Thursday.
The Hickory Grove Fire Department will be applying for a $90,000 grant for an initial attack truck.
“It’s good to run medical calls on and go to grass fires. It has extrication equipment in it. It’s a workhorse. The one they have now is giving them a lot of troubles, so we’re going to retire that truck and take the body off to give to another department," explained Stevens.
The Southeast Lamar Fire Department will be applying for a $70,000 grant to get a pumper truck.
“Pumpers, commercial pumpers, typically have a 20-year life span. We have some that are over 20 years, so it’s been difficult, the trucks are getting expensive," said Stevens.
Stevens said these trucks can be costly, many ranging from $300,000 to $500,000.
Stevens explained many of the funds will come from existing funds from the departments as well as selling the current trucks.
“One of the things that we are very fortunate for is that we were able to go the state, through the Mississippi development authority, and loan some fire trucks for ten years at two percent interest rate. That makes them affordable. Part of it is going to come from the selling of the old trucks. There’s not any additional burden on the county," said Stevens.