New Budget Means One New Fire Truck for Orangeburg

An Orangeburg County fire official said the district can only afford to purchase one fire truck this year due to limited funds.

“Usually, we order two fire trucks a year,” County Fire System Coordinator Gene Ball told County Fire District commissioners last week. “This year because of our budget and the availability of funds, I do not see how we have the funds to order two trucks.”

Last year, two trucks cost the district $498,000.

Commissioners also unanimously agreed to forward a proposed cost-recovery ordinance to Orangeburg County Council for approval. Council will have to give three readings for the ordinance to become law.

The cost-recovery ordinance will enable the county fire district to seek reimbursement for responding primarily to industrial fires.

The fires would include those involving hazardous materials, consumable materials, vehicle accidents requiring more than one hour on scene and special rescues when multiple agencies are involved. The ordinance would also let the district be reimbursed for any equipment damage sustained in a hazardous material fire.

The ordinance would also help the district recover costs associated with responding to false alarms at a specific location more than three times in a calendar year.

Reimbursement would not be sought for a typical residential fire response.

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