Polk County has purchased a new engine from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. It will be used by the Lake Creek Fire Department. (Contributed photo)
Polk County has purchased a new fire engine and is now working with Rockmart on an automatic aid agreement.
The new engine is the first in a series that will be purchased with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.
It is a KME international 1250 gallon per minute pumper, with a 750-gallon tank, automatic transmissions and an international engine.
The aging truck, which was purchased in 1982, has not been retired from use. It will be used as a reserve vehicle, according to Randy Lacey, public safety director.
“No vehicle is taken out of service until it is ready for surplus,” Lacey said.
A new color scheme – red and black – has been selected for Polk’s fire engines.
County officials announced that five more trucks would be purchased during the next several years. These will be distributed to stations needing newer models.
Lacey said Polk’s fire departments receive 20 to 25 calls per day, which keeps volunteers busy. This volume includes structure and brush fires and accidents.
He said membership varies at stations across the county. Vinson Mountain near Rockmart has 15 volunteers compared to 20 listed at the Aragon site.
“We are on call 24 hours a day,” Lacey said. “It takes a dedicated individual to respond to a call in all types of weather – winter and summer. Polk’s firefighters are not paid. They are all volunteers.”
Lacey said some of these men and women will respond to fires within a five mile radius of Rockmart as part of an automatic aid agreement between the City of Rockmart and the Polk County Board of Commissioners.
The agreement specifies that Rockmart will provide assistance to Polk County in the unincorporated areas within a 5-mile general radius of the City.
Polk County will provide assistance to Rockmart for any fire adjacent to or a part of any cartilage or out building for any structure within the fire district.
The response team shall consist of a full first out alarm structural assignment, consisting of four engine companies. If the fire emergency is in the unincorporated area and within the fire district, Polk will assign one engine company to be dispatched to stand by at the Rockmart Fire Station to provide coverage within its corporate limits.
Alarm assignments will be coordinated between the Director/Chief of each entity with the Director of Polk E-911 facility to ensure that protocol is maintained to ensure orderly and professional response of emergency personnel and equipment.
Lacey and Rockmart Fire Chief Todd Queen have met to work out details and firefighters from both departments are responding to calls during a pilot program this month (June).