County fire heads report on trucks
by Chance Wright
Dec 05, 2012 | 2512 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With Bolivar County EMA Director Bill Quinton by his side, Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Phillips addressed the board of supervisors Monday about the deteriorating condition of two of the county's fire trucks and issues they are experiencing with repairs.

Prior to Phillip's address, Quinton informed the board that the information on the dilapidated trucks and any repair or replacement costs had been given to County Administrator Will Hooker prior to the meeting.

Hooker, who had to leave earlier in the meeting due to a family matter, was unavailable to comment or provide the specs at the time.

"I guess what we need to do is get on the next meeting's agenda since he has the books so that you all can decide which way you want to go on the fire trucks," said Quinton.

"Can you guys just go ahead and give us a brief summary," asked Supervisor Donny Whitten. "Then we can get with Mr. Hooker and address the situation at the next meeting."

Phillips said that the truck in Benoit is outdated and needs to be updated to a newer model.

"He (Hooker) has the specs on them from two companies," said Phillips, who added one of the trucks in Cleveland was also outdated.

"We were trying to get something like a ladder truck so that we can get on top of buildings and get things out without having to wait on a vehicle." he added. "We really need to update the vehicle to a better truck."

Board Chairman Andrew Williams asked if they were to look at the specs and advertise a bid.

"I believe that the way fire trucks are now that they are on state contracts," said Quinton. "We will have to check on that but you can go on a state contract and be legal without having to advertise for bids."

Supervisor Larry King asked about the repair work being done on one of the trucks in Shaw.

"We are currently having some issues with repairs," answered Quinton. "We've got some trucks in the shop that have been there awhile and are still not repaired."

According to Quinton and Phillips, the BCVFD uses Cleveland Truck & Tractor Repair.

Phillips gave an example of some of the situations.

"We called and said that we were bringing the truck in for fine tuning and he said to bring it to them and it would take about 15 minutes to fix them," said the Chief. "They have been there now going on two months."

"These are the people that you all recommended," said Supervisor James McBride.

"If you can give me the name of another source I will be glad to use them," said Quinton.

The EMA director said that unless the county was willing to pay around $1,500 to have the trucks towed to somewhere like Memphis that the options were limited as to where they could be taken and fixed by a qualified technician.

"Its my understanding that we have an agreement," said Whitten.

"We can take a truck up there for servicing and it might take two weeks and then we might have to carry it back because it is not completely serviced," explained Phillips. "But, there are not many places around here that are qualified to work on them."

Phillips said that at this time he believed that there were three trucks in the shop.

Quinton asked the board's advice on how to handle the situation.

"I think that we need to have a better, more concrete understanding," said Whitten.

"Ain't nobody going to hold the county hostage," said McBride. "Whatever it takes to get them fixed is what we need to do," McBride agreed.

At McBride's request, Whitten said that he would go down to Cleveland Truck & Tractor Repair to see what was going on.

The board then agreed to accept the EMA director's report and discuss Phillip's request at the next scheduled meeting on Dec. 17.