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Fire department plans to move aerial trucks

Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 8:53 PM
Last updated Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 11:22 AM
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After months of discussions in his department, Augusta-Richmond County Fire Chief Chris James plans to move some of his aerial fire trucks, and add a fifth, to better cover more densely populated parts of the city.

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The aerial truck at the Reynolds Street station, which is being sold, will move to Station 1 on East Boundary.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
The aerial truck at the Reynolds Street station, which is being sold, will move to Station 1 on East Boundary.

Currently, the four aerial trucks in service have large overlapping coverage areas. Each of the department’s largest ladder trucks is responsible for a 2½-mile radius around its station, according to the Insurance Service Office. There is no coverage on Washington Road, where some of the city’s larger hotels are, or on River Watch Parkway, which holds some larger businesses. This gap in coverage prompted the discussion to move the trucks, James said.

“It makes a big difference how quickly a ladder truck can get to a scene,” he said. “It shouldn’t be the last truck; it should be the first.”

Currently, Station 8’s aerial truck on Highland Avenue and Station 9’s truck on Wal­ton Way Extension have very little territory that is not covered by another aerial truck, according to a map of coverage James has.

Since an accident in June put Station 9 out of service, its aerial truck has been running out of Station 10 on Alexander Drive. Repairs at Station 9 started last week, but the aerial truck will stay at No. 10 to cover Washington Road and River Watch Park­way.

Station 8’s truck will move to Station 15 on Flowing Wells Road when Station 9 is finished. Station 6 on Rich­mond Hill Road will keep its truck, and the fourth aerial truck, currently at Station 3 on Reynolds Street, will move to Station 1 on East Boundary when Station 3 is sold. The station was put up for sale in May after it was determined that its territory is covered by surrounding stations.

“We wanted to have the ladder trucks where we had the tallest buildings and the most people,” James said. “By moving the trucks out, Augusta is better covered.”

James said he hopes to purchase a fifth aerial truck that he will put at Station 19, which will cover Hephzibah and Cross Creek high schools and industry buildings at Federal Paperboard and the airport.

“We knew we needed a truck in south Augusta so we have a quick response time to the schools and multistory industry buildings out there,” he said. “Everyone will still have a truck responding. It’s just more evenly placed.”

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soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 09/29/12 - 07:47 am
1
0
We can only hope that
Unpublished

the "new residences" meet city codes and have doorways that do not shrink when the trucks are moved in and out. But the building contracts were never read because of golf dates, dining out, athletic events, beach trips, just didn;t have time to read, etc.

seenitB4
90981
Points
seenitB4 09/29/12 - 08:14 am
4
0
Yep

“We knew we needed a truck in south Augusta so we have a quick response time to the schools and multistory industry buildings out there

About time someone thinks about south Augusta needs.

dichotomy
34502
Points
dichotomy 09/29/12 - 01:39 pm
3
1
That's right Chief......make

That's right Chief......make sure everyone else is covered and dangle "hope" in front of South Augusta. Seems like everybody in the "city" government likes to give South Augusta "hope"......probably because it doesn't cost anything. I notice the lack of a truck in South Augusta did not stop you from raising OUR fire taxes even though we do not get the same level of coverage as folks whose fire taxes were not raised and who will be the largest beneficiary of OUR higher fire taxes.

It's time to fix the tax system in Richmond County. The current system is illegal and inequitable as are the distibution of benefits and services.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 09/29/12 - 03:52 pm
2
0
Hmmm

“It makes a big difference how quickly a ladder truck can get to a scene,” he said. “It shouldn’t be the last truck; it should be the first.”

Years ago when I was on the fire department and both a fire engine and aerial truck were housed in the same station, it was accepted practice to let the engine go first out of the station because it was smaller and faster.

I am curious to know if adding the fifth aerial truck and relocating some of the existing aerial trucks will improve the Fire Department's ISO rating thus giving property owners an insurance discount.

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