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New emergency squads delivered to Belmont, Smith Township FDs

BELMONT — Local fire departments have some new equipment on the road, thanks to fundraising and community support.

The Belmont Fire Department recently announced the purchase of a new 2020 Ford 550 ambulance.

“We’ve actually had it about three weeks,” Kaye Hall, captain, said. “We actually did the box with a remount. They took our old box and actually rebuilt it.”

She said the cost was about $200,000.

“We had the funds available. We’d been working on it a couple years to get it,” she said, adding the new truck is a marked improvement.

“We’ve got a four-wheel drive,” she said. “Our other one was 2003, was getting wear-and-tear on it so it was time for us to get a new one.”

Hall said the new addition has greater capacity.

“We also have snow chains, just because some of the terrain we have to go in and the oil well roads are in bad shape, so we got a bigger vehicle this time,” she said. “Some of the county roads are terrible in the wintertime. We have to have chains.”

It has already seen use.

“We’ve gone down to Barkcamp in it, and we’ve had to go to the beach area (last week) and this thing handled great going in and out of there,” she said.

“We had to go to the beach area to get an individual, which meant we had to go down over the hill and back up over the hill and it performed wonderful. We wouldn’t have been able to do that with our other squad.”

Hall said Fire Chief Bob Mills and the department want to thank the supportive members of the community.

“We had it in the Memorial Day parade. We had a small parade here in town and the village people got to see it firsthand,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Smith Township Fire Department boasts a new ambulance.

“It’s a Braun. It took us 180 days to get it, from the time we put in an order to the time we took delivery,” Patty Phillips, squad captain, said. “The last one was just an old van-type that was giving us mechanical issues and we decided while we had the money, we would go ahead and get this purchased.”

“We took delivery June 1, and it actually made its first haul on June 10,” she said.

The department also has a new Lifepak heart monitor and stretcher load system.

“It’s got all-new equipment in it,” she said, adding the new stretcher lift system offers greater convenience for firefighters.

“That new lift system is a Godsend to us,” she said.

This gives them two Braun ambulances in service.

The vehicle cost was about $200,000, the monitor was about $32,000, with load system and cot at $40,000.

“It’s something we had been looking at over the last couple of years, doing some fundraising and we’ve got a pretty good tax base right now with the oil and gas in our area.

“That seemed to help us out a little bit,” Phillips said.

“We always do some fundraising, fish frys usually in the spring and, of course, with COVID here we didn’t do quite as many, and through our tax-base.”

“It is handy having that second ambulance in case the first one is out on a call, so we’ve got an extra vehicle to respond.

“Especially this time of year we have a lot of four-wheeling in our area,” she said. “Hopefully we don’t have to call mutual aid as much.”

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