From: Press Release – July 4th, 6:02 PM
Brierfield Fire and Rescue is the recent recipient of a surplus rescue pumper from Lucketts Volunteer Fire Company in Loudoun County, Virginia.
BFR Board President Jimmy Latham said the pumper is a welcome addition to the fleet.
“It’s a 2003 Spartan with a Salisbury rescue body. This vehicle has a large water tank with high volume pumping capacity, multiple compartments for rescue equipment, such as air bags to lift heavy objects, pre-connected Extrication equipment, and a large winch on the front for pulling or as an aid to stabilizing vehicles. It has the tools to deal with just about any kind of emergency or fire situation. This apparatus is a combination of a fire service pumper and heavy rescue.
Lucketts Volunteer Fire Co. out of Loudoun County, VA donated the rescue pumper. Brierfield Fire & Rescue came under the LVFC’s radar through a networking situation in which BFR participates.
“We were contacted by a representative of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue who knew we were looking to get rid of the pumper because it was just too big for our little station,” said Lucketts Volunteer Fire Company’s President Robert Gant. “We have narrow streets and roads and because it is so big, we hadn’t used it in a couple of years. He said he knew of a little fire department in Alabama, and he knew that department’s chief, Spruce McRee, and asked if we would consider donating it to the Brierfield Volunteer Fire and Rescue. I brought it up at our next Board meeting and we checked out Brierfield’s department.”
Gant said everything checked out and the BFR was very happy when he called to let them know they would be getting the rescue pumper.
“It’s for a good cause,” said Gant. “We are all here to help our brothers and sisters and we all want to help our communities as much as we can. I’m very happy that they can use it. It should last them a long time.”
“In the northeast, fire departments are of a different culture than we have here. They are funded from a different tax base than we are, but also have localized volunteer fire departments that receive funding” said Latham. “When fire departments expense out a piece of equipment, they pipeline it down to a lesser-funded department. As a part of the network, when we’ve fully incorporated this pumper into our fleet, we will donate one of our older trucks to another department.”
In order to become a part of the network, Latham said the key is to become involved in the Alabama Fire College, and to attend regional and national conferences and seminars as a means of getting your department seen and noticed.
“We have to network,” said Latham. “We are a small department with a small budget. We get funding from Bibb and Shelby Counties and that funding is critical to our operation, but there’s no way we could have gone out and purchased this piece of equipment. We are dependent on other, better funded departments passing on their surplus equipment.”
Latham said that while the new pumper is ready to be placed in service, it won’t be until the firefighters in the department have been fully trained to use it.
“Chief McRee is all about training, as he should be,” said Latham. “We will take the next month or six weeks of Monday night meetings to train every firefighter on how to use the rescue pumper,” said Latham. “The last thing we would want to happen is for someone to just jump up there and drive the truck off to a scene, either having an accident getting there, or not know how to access and use the equipment once they’ve arrived.”
Brierfield has a current ISO rating of 4 and has approximately 14 active volunteer firefighters, all fully trained, and another dozen or so auxiliary and administrative volunteers. Going on both non-transport EMS and fire calls, the BFR handles 4-5 EMS calls per week and about 15 fire calls per year. BVFR’s main station is located in Brierfield, and they have a smaller station in Six Mile.
The Brierfield Volunteer Fire and Rescue has a coverage radius of about 10 miles on its own, but has mutual aid agreements with all surrounding departments. They are part of the First Battalion of Shelby County, which is an automatic mutual aid group consisting of six VFDs, including Brierfield, County 17, Dry Valley, Montevallo, Pea Ridge, and West Shelby.
For more information about Brierfield Volunteer Fire and Rescue, or about getting into the equipment networking system, contact Brierfield Fire Chief Spruce McRee at 205-665-3060.
Chief McRee has been a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs for more than a decade, and he also serves as part of the command staff for the Memorial Weekend in October, and is Director of the Alabama Chapter of the Terry Farrell Firefighter’s Fund.
Terry Farrell was one of the firefighters who lost his life in service during the 911 World Trade Center attack. He was in Tower Two when it collapsed. The national Terry Farrell Firefighter’s Fund was established in his memory and strives to assist firefighters and their families with educational, financial, and medical support, and to provide equipment donations for fire departments in need.