FAIRMONT — The Fairmont City Fire Department received a pumper truck from the the Clayton Fire Department Tuesday that Fairmont Fire Chief Garrett Robinson said is badly needed to improve his department’s responses to local fires.
“Clayton is donating this fire engine to us to replace one of ours that has been out of service since Dec. 16,” the chief said. “The one we had is old and would have cost $40,000 to repair. I don’t see putting that much money into such an old truck with the kind of repairs that were needed.”
According to Robinson, the donated truck, a pumper that pumps 1,500 gallons of water per minute, saved the town $350,000.
“We would have had to purchase a brand new truck,”Robinson said. “This saved us a lot of money.”
The truck was delivered to the fire department early Tuesday by Joshua Spivey, a captain with the Clayton department, and Tony Atkinson, Clayton’s fire marshal. The donation was welcomed at the fire department by several volunteer firefighters and town officials.
Atkinson said that the Clayton department is getting another truck and was going to put the donated pumper up for sale as surplus property. Lee Barbee, Clayton’s fire chief, however, decided it would be better to have the truck donated to a fire department that needed a pumper rather than sell it at an auction, said Atkinson.
“We learned that Fairmont needed such a pumper and decided to make the donation,” Atkinson said. “Our town council approved the donation last night.”
Robinson said the pumper now brings his department’s number of trucks available for use up to its original number of four. The Fairmont City Fire Department currently operates with 25 volunteer members, Robinson said.
“I think it is tremendous that Clayton would seek to give us this pumper when we are in such great need of this kind of equipment,” Commissioner Charles Kemp said. “We really appreciate it.”
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.