MOULTRIE, Ga. -- The Moultrie Fire Department received another tool in its arsenal, increasing its coverage and keeping the station fully manned to tackle fires: a new firetruck.
An E1 commercial four-door rescue pumper was delivered on March 19. The City of Moultrie ordered it the month prior on a $274,764 lease bid.
It’s been a stress reliever, Chief Jeff Thibodeau said. Having had it for two weeks now, the department has been able to test its capabilities. So far, it’s only been used in accidents as there haven’t been any recent structure fires.
But that’s a positive thing. This truck was bought to keep a fully functioning truck in reserve.
“If we’ve got one down, we’ve still got three trucks that’s got water and all the capabilities of handling any emergency that the city or county has,” Thibodeau said.
This wasn’t the case Jan. 20 when the MFD responded to a structure fire at 106 WMTM Road. The main home on the property came out slightly scathed, needing a new roof and two rooms, but an adjacent building on the property was destroyed.
During the time of the fire, the MFD had three frontline trucks, one of which was down, and two reserve trucks, an ‘81 and an ‘84 model, whose pumps went out.
A reserve truck team arrived first and did all they could until a fully functional truck could put out the fire.
In recognition of that moment, Thibodeau said never again.
As this new truck is a rescue pumper, it’s set up to handle all department needs at least for a little while before the calvary comes in.
“The rescue part of it is, is the compartment space is much deeper and you can put more equipment on the truck,” Thibodeau said.
It also has a 1,500-gallon pump and can carry 1,000 gallons of water.
As COVID-19 has affected many, the MFD has been working to stay clean.
Filling the self-contained breathing apparatuses with sanitizing fluid and connecting a paintball gun to the hose, the MFD was able to decontaminate all its equipment, offices, and vehicles.
“Anywhere someone would come in contact with [something] -- keyboards, doorknobs, bathrooms,” Thibodeau said.
It did the same for city hall after it closed at 5 p.m. on April 1. The MFD will continue to do this in the coming weeks. In fact, it’s used to doing this in certain fire calls.
“We were familiar with how to do it, we just never really had to do it on our fire stations and on our trucks,” he said.
Thibodeau said they’re still expecting a custom-ordered Sutphen Corporation fire engine in late November or early December barring a delay.
The MFD has suspended hydrant, hose and smoke alarm testing until COVID-19 clears out, but the firefighters are up, running and responding to all manner of calls.