Botetourt County Fire & EMS replacing older fire trucks and ambulances

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Botetourt County Fire & EMS Department is getting new equipment to replace older trucks and ambulances.

Every few years, to better serve our hometown communities, first responders need new equipment.

That’s why Chief Jason Ferguson with Botetourt County Fire & EMS asked the Board of Supervisors to approve the cost of new trucks and ambulances to replace older models. He asked for equipment needed now and for the future.

“Primarily, really long wait times for trucks to be built as well as looming price increases. Normally a lead time on a fire apparatus once you sign a contact is somewhere between nine and twelve months, and obviously it’s double, almost triple that now,” said Ferguson.

The Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of two new fire trucks.

“For our rural county where the fire stations are really far apart in various communities and the needs are there. Bringing our pump and our water and our tools with us is important to handle the vast majority of what we respond to,” said Ferguson.

And a ladder truck, which he says is needed because of growth in the county.

“The southern end of the county ranging from Blue Ridge all the way around to Daleville, that area because of high occupancy and high risk and multi-story places, the need for two ladder trucks to service the southern end of the county would be the ultimate goal,” said Ferguson.

The $4.5 million package also included the purchase of two ambulances.

He says being able to get this new equipment helps the department better serve the community.

“It increases the reliability; the trucks are designed for today and into the future, because any of these investments are a twenty-plus-year investment in terms of buying a piece of apparatus and keeping it in the system. So we want to make sure that up to today’s standards and beyond,” said Ferguson.

The new vehicles are expected to be in service by late 2025 or early 2026.