New emergency vehicles arrive in Petersburg,
PETERSBURG — In a fitting salute to their dedication, firefighters raced out of their own ceremony last Saturday to respond to a call. Several emergency crew members exited Fire Station Number 3 as two new vehicles were placed into service.
On that day, there would be no fresh cookies, cold punch and live bagpipe music for several of the faithful emergency responders answering that call.
While they may return to stale cookies and warm punch later that evening, odds are they will happily trade that for their 2017 KME Severe Service Pumper and 2017 International 4300 Durastar/PL titan Custom Medic Unit. Both vehicles were placed in service at Fire Station Number 3 on 1320 Farmer Street shortly around noon on October 28th.
Petersburg Fire Chief Dennis Rubin stated that the fire engine, one of three the city will receive before Christmas, was financed through a government obligation bond series. Also referred to as a General Obligation Bond, the bond is secured by a state or local government’s pledge to use legally available resources, including tax revenues, to repay bond holders.
According to Chief Rubin, the 2017 International was secured through a Department of Health EMS 50/50 match. The City of Petersburg set aside the match funds from the general fund about a year prior in anticipation of the purchase.
“Our citizens should feel confident that we are making the right moves and making the right investments in public safety,” said Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham. Mayor Parham expressed how the fire just last week shows the constant possibility and threat of looming danger. “We have an obligation to respond to those threats by providing our firefighters with the necessary tools to do an outstanding job here in the city of Petersburg,” Parham said.
The day carried a much larger meaning as well. As part of the mutual aid agreement between regional municipalities, Petersburg now has additional resources to assist neighboring communities. We’re in a position now that we can be on the giving end (of mutual aid) as opposed to the receiving end of mutual aid,” Mayor Parham added.
According to Chief Rubin the Petersburg Fire Department will continue to make the most of their resources. The old engines will not be taken completely out of service, but rather placed in “ready reserve.” Placed in fire stations across the city, the old engines will serve for training and in case of extreme necessity will be available as backup vehicles.
Mayor Parham complimented the efforts of the firefighters. “We are putting to rest some fire engines we’ve had from the ‘80s. We’ve been operating on a prayer as far as time. Because of our outstanding fireman we have here, they have been able to do excellent work with resources that were quite dated. It’s good to bring their equipment into the 21st century.”
Councilman Darrin Hill of Ward 2 was also in attendance Saturday. “Our citizens are our first priority. They deserve this. So do our firefighters. They were working on dated equipment. So now we have advanced equipment to service the residents.” Councilman Hill commented on the effect this has on the future of the Petersburg Fire Department. “Top equipment is also important in recruiting. This should be a plus for the Chief to recruit more firefighters to the area when we need them,” he said.
A 2017 International 4300 Durastar/PL Titan Custom Medic Unit was placed in service at Fire Station Number 3 on Farmer Street in Petersburg on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.
A 2017 KME Severe Service Pumper was placed in service at Fire Station Number 3 on Farmer Street in Petersburg on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.