Leader Blues

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

NEIGHBORS >> New fire trucks boost Beebe, Cabot

Leader staff writer

The Beebe Volunteer Fire Department has unveiled the newest addition to its fleet, a 2005 Freightliner fire truck with a 4,500-gallon capacity.

“This new truck enables us to pump more than 3,000 gallons of water on a fire if we’re somewhere in the fire district where there aren’t fire plugs,” Chief William Nick said.
The truck has a 2,000-gallon tank and 2,500 gallon drop tank. The drop tank can be left at a fire while the engine goes to get more water.

The $129,500 truck was purchased from S and S Fire Tankers of Indiana using Act 833 funding. Act 833 of 1991 funds Arkansas fire department improvements.

The money comes from a percentage of fire insurance premiums divided among the state’s 75 counties according to population. It is one of the largest sources of money to rural or volunteer departments in the state.

“We’ve been applying for grants over the past two years to get a new truck,” Nick said.
“We decided to go ahead and use our Act 833 money. This pretty much taps us out for the next year or so.”
The new tanker replaces a 1973 International fire truck with a 1,500-gallon tank. Nick says the department is hoping to sell the 1973 fire truck.

“We ran it out to a house trailer fire and with our brush truck this weekend for a grass fire,” Nick said.
The Beebe Volunteer Fire Depart-ment also has two 1999 GMC Ferrar fire engines with 1,200 gallon tanks, a Fire Cat engine with a 1,000-gallon tank, a 1967 Ford pumper truck with a 750-gallon tank and a 1997 Ford brush truck with a 250-gallon tank.

Last week, Cabot dedicated a new fire truck, a 2005 Pierce Contender, to senior city council member, Alderman Bob Duke.

He was honored with a plaque on the new fire truck for his 30 years of service to the city. The Cabot City Council voted to honor Duke with the plaque earlier this year.

“I was just completely shocked,” Duke said. “I wasn’t expecting anything like that.”
Duke also received the first annual Charlie Templeton Award for community leadership earlier this year.
“All those years of service were just because I love Cabot,” Duke said. The $215,000 fire truck holds 1,050 gallons of water.

The Cabot Fire Department now has seven engines at four fire stations throughout the community. Because of the extreme conditions in which these trucks are operated the longest life span of a fire engine is about 20 years.