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County fire departments receive new fire trucks

Photo by Aaron Paden / Zetus and New Sight volunteer fire departments received new trucks recently.

Photo by Aaron Paden / Zetus and New Sight volunteer fire departments received new trucks recently.

Lincoln County recently received one new fire truck each for New Sight and Zetus volunteer fire departments.

Emergency Management Coordinator Clifford Galey met with the department chiefs in the Lincoln County Courthouse parking lot Tuesday, where they received the trucks from Bonaventure Fire and Safety. Supervisor Bobby Watts was at the gathering to represent the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.

“We’re proud of our general public that supports our fire department,” Galey said. “Without them donating to the fire departments and helping them out, they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay these notes. We have 1 mill for fire protection in the county, and that’s not even enough to even really pay the note on the trucks every year. So all those folks that are gracious enough to donate to us and help us out, it’s greatly appreciated.”

The purchases were also made possible by a $70,000 rural fire truck assistance grant, according to Galey. Each truck costs the department $235,000, and it can’t be put off. The process of buying new fire trucks is necessary to maintain qualifications for fire insurance ratings.

“There’s always a need for us to upgrade,” Galey said. “The rating bureau will allow us 20 years on the truck. That assistance grant is supposed to be an every year thing, but it doesn’t always work that way because of the way the legislature appropriates money for it, so every time it comes around for us to be eligible to apply for it we do.”

Galey said there are eight fire departments in Lincoln County.

New Sight Chief Corey Smith said their newest truck was 15 years old.

“It was time for an upgrade,” Smith said. “We’re proud of it. All our firefighters are proud of it, and it’s top notch. Anything we could have wanted, we got on this truck.”

Zetus fire chief Dale Anding said they’ve been waiting for a new truck for a long time.

“This has been an eight-year ordeal getting this new truck in. We had problems with the state with funding. But we’re happy with what you got,” he said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misquoted Clifford Galey on the amount of funding volunteer fire departments receive.