12/27/07 — Mount Olive gets new fire truck

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Mount Olive gets new fire truck

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 27, 2007 2:07 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Should a fire break out in the dorms at Mount Olive College, local responders say they will now be ready -- thanks to the town board's latest purchase.

An $850,000 center-mount ladder platform fire engine rolled into Mount Olive late last week -- one fire department and government officials say was much needed.

Town Manager Charles Brown said grant money from the USDA's Rural Development Division will help offset the cost.

"When everything is all said and done, we're looking at a cost of about $200,000 to the city," he said.

Fire Chief Steve Martin believes the money was well spent. The truck has a 100-foot ladder.

At the board's Sept. 8 meeting, he talked about the "great need" for a new truck.

"We have an awful lot of fire-load around here," Martin told them. "That truck, it could be utilized in several ways."

Like during the response to a wreck Sept. 7, one that resulted in the drowning of a family in a creek off N.C. 55.

Martin said the new engine would have provided a safer situation for his men.

"We could have used that truck to extend out over the water," he said.

But instead, several fire fighters "risked their lives" in an attempt to perform a rescue.

Martin's words were all it took.

Board members approved the purchase of the truck that evening.

Now that the grant has been approved and the paperwork on it signed, the town will take out a 20-year loan to cover the remainder of the cost.

Brown said it should only translate to about a $16,000 commitment each year and told residents who showed up at the Sept. 8 meeting that no tax increase would be needed to cover it.

"We had not anticipated a tax increase at this point in time," he said. "Not for this, anyway."