Madison County Fire Chief Eric Turner asked the County Commission for over three times as much funding for his department’s capital fund as the next closest department, other than the school system.
The department was given $710,000 of the $1,433,000 it requested when the commission passed the first reading of the $185 million 2015-2016 budget. The next closest department, the sheriff’s department, received $231,658.
“That’s what we struggle with because the stuff we have to have costs so much money,” Turner said. “You know, it’s not like buying a passenger car or a patrol car because they’re not as expensive as a fire truck.”
Turner’ department was approved for a radio system and two tanker trucks. He requested funding for two more tanker trucks and a pumper truck, but they were declined.
The radio system will improve communication throughout the county for firefighters by increasing the number of repeaters, the towers that transmit their walkie-talkies to dispatch.
Currently there is one repeater for the entire county. Turner said the system he requested, worth $260,000, would put four repeaters throughout the county, which will improve safety for firefighters.
The two $225,000 tanker trucks the department was approved for will replace two trucks that are both old and have high mileage. One of the trucks is a 1991 model and the other is a 1992 model.
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