Natchez soon to receive new fire truck

Published 3:05 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

NATCHEZ — Natchez will soon be the recipient of a new red pumper fire truck.

Unlike the city’s newest ladder truck, which was custom built, Natchez Fire Chief Robert Arrington said the order has been made for a stock pumper truck to be purchased as it is from South Dakota.

“It’s in Mississippi now undergoing some tests,” he said, adding once the city goes through the financing process it will need to have the city’s graphics put on it be ready by the end of next month. “The ladder truck is far more expensive. This truck doesn’t have a ladder but is built to carry water and people.”

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The truck costs approximately $680,000.

Natchez mayor Dan Gibson said $90,000 of that is slated to come from a Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program grant, which the Adams County Board of Supervisors apply for on the city’s behalf provided the city can foot the rest of the bill.

Gibson said during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting that it would be a “sizable down payment” on the new truck. The rest of the purchase will be made with a low-interest capital improvements loan.

“People ask how we’re doing so much without raising taxes — it’s because we’re working so hard to bring in money from other sources,” Gibson said.

Arrington said the new truck will help the city fully take care of the maintenance needs of its current fleet while making sure they have enough equipment to respond to emergencies. Currently, two of the cities six trucks are inoperable and need repairs, he said.

“Our fleet is aging,” he said. “This new addition will give us some relief on the mechanical problems we’re facing. The good thing about this truck is there is a shop very close that can work on any issues we may have with it. Hopefully there aren’t any for a while. We have two trucks down for various reasons and we need a good truck to be a backup truck. It’s just the nature of the business. They run hard and take a beating. To respond to emergencies, switching from road to pumping mode, they go through a lot.”

Where the city will house the new truck is to be determined, Arrington said.

“Once we are able to see all its features, we’ll decide (the best home) for it. It won’t be at station one. It will be one of our stations that responds to the county fires. I just think that is the right thing to do.”