New emer­gency ve­hi­cles ar­rive in Peters­burg,

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Craig Richards Pub­lisher

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.

[PHO­TOS BY CRAIG RICHARDS/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

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.

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