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Fire department receives new emergency vehicles

After having issues with its current vehicles, it was time for the Russellville Fire Department to get an update on fire and rescue vehicles, with three new vehicles through the Alabama Department of Transportation Surplus Equipment Program.

“When you’re dealing with emergency vehicles, you need them to crank and run when you need to get in them,” Fire Chief Joe Mansell pointed out.

The city bought the RFD a 2017 Ford F-250 for $27,500, a 2015 Chevrolet 4×4 for $21,291 and a 2016 Ford F-250 for $25,850 with money from the Local Gas Tax Fund.

These vehicles will replace a 1987 truck the fire department used as part of the brush unit since 1995; a 1994 model truck used as a cascade unit; and a 2004 model truck.

Since these vehicles were purchased from the state, Mansell said this saved the city a significant amount of money.

“I think what they’re doing, trying to use taxpayer money wisely, is doing great things through this program,” Mansell said. 

Mansell said these new vehicles will allow the fire department to meet the needs of the citizens, which Mansell said at times was difficult with the previous vehicles.

He said the fire department serves as the HAZMAT center for the county and is a medium rescue team for the state. They have four different trailers and two boats that could potentially have to be hauled with a truck. He said of the other three vehicles, only one was capable of pulling a trailer, and there have been times when the fire department needed two trailers at a scene.

“Now with the vehicles we have, we can make sure we have what we need on scene,” Mansell said.

The 2004 model truck will still be used throughout the city, but the other two trucks will be declared surplus.

The fire department already has the three new vehicles, but they are not fully operational yet because they are still having lights and lettering added to them. Mansell said he expects them to be fully operational in a few weeks.