Adams County Volunteer Fire Service in need of fire trucks

Published 9:53 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The head of the Adams County Volunteer Fire Service told the county’s Board of Supervisors this week the service is in a world of hurt when it comes to fire trucks.

In fact, the Liberty Road Fire Department is without an operational fire truck, he said.

“Our trucks are old and we need to replace them,” said Darryl White, who leads the volunteer fire service.

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Adams County contracts with the City of Natchez Fire Department to provide fire protection in the county. The Adams County Volunteer Fire Service, which operates four volunteer fire departments — Liberty Road, Kingston Road, Lake Montrose and Foster Mound — responds to fires in the county as back up for the Natchez Fire Department.

“Liberty Road has not truck that can respond to a fire right now,” Smith said. “Liberty Road has one fire truck and one tanker and both are down. As far as the condition of the fire truck, the pump is gone.”

He said the cost of a new pump would be more than the truck’s value.

“All of our trucks are old,” Smith said. “We are looking at trying to replace them.”

Adams County Supervisor Kevin Wilson told Smith at the supervisors’ meeting this week the county does not have the funds to purchase new trucks and suggested the volunteer fire service look into what grants and other means are available.

Smith responded that applying for and receiving grants take time, and the needs of the volunteer fire service are immediate.

Supervisors Ricky Gray and Angela Hutchins, who recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for meetings, said they would reach out to contacts they made while there and and see what federal funds may be available for purchasing fire trucks for rural counties.

In addition to the need at the Liberty Road Fire Station, Smith said the Kingston Fire Station has one working truck, but the back up is in the shop being repaired. He said it could be a month before the part needed to repair the back up truck arrives.

Lake Montrose also has one truck that is working, but its back up truck is out of service and in need of repair.

“We hope to get one of those back up trucks fixed and it could go to Liberty Road to use,” Smith said.

The Foster Mound Fire Station has a pumper truck and a brush truck used to put out grass fires. Both of those trucks still operate, but the brush truck is in need of repairs, too.

“Our trucks are old and we are looking to replace them. We are just trying to keep our fleet going, but we will respond to fires, regardless,” Smith said. “Even in the Liberty Road area, the Kingston and Foster Mound trucks will respond to that area to back up the city fire department. That area will be covered. We don’t want people to be worried. They will have fire protection, regardless.”