Up & Coming Weekly

March 05, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 23 of 32

MARCH 6-12, 2019 UCW 23 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM The new truck is currently being built and is scheduled to be delivered by May. Work is in progress on a new multipurpose fire truck for Cotton Volunteer Fire Station on Calico Street in Hope Mills. It will be a welcome addition to the vehicles currently in use. Hank Harris is deputy chief of the Cotton sta- tion, a position he's held for nearly 35 years. He said the new truck, which is scheduled to be delivered by May, will replace an aging 2003 truck made by American LaFrance, which went out of business in 2014. The old truck was capable of a variety of roles, including vehicle extrication and water rescue. It could also handle support roles at various emergen- cy scenes, Harris said. Since American LaFrance is out of business, it's become harder to find replacement parts for the old truck, he added. But that's only part of the problem. Times have changed, and the Cotton fire station finds itself called on to perform different kinds of jobs. Harris said the fire station has advanced from a medium to a heavy rescue unit. As a result, the sta- tion has had to add more equipment, some of which doesn't fit on the old truck. That means in some situations, the equipment has to be stored on two trucks instead of one. When two trucks need to be dispatched to a call to make sure all the needed equipment for the situation is available, that's a problem. The new truck is being made by a Wisconsin-based company called Pierce Manufacturing. A contract was signed to start work on the new truck in April of last year. The new vehicle is not a firefighting truck per se; it's more of a support vehicle, Harris said. "It has no hoses or anything like that, but it has all the hand tools and equipment required that gives us our ratings,'' Harris said. The truck can be dispatched to certain rescue situ- ations by itself without a firefighting truck being present. One of the biggest differences between the two vehicles is the number of people the new one will hold. Where the old truck could only handle four passengers, the new one will allow seven. Harris said the new truck will have a walk-in body that allows firemen access to a climate-controlled area where they can take a break and rehab during fire situations. "They can get out of the heat, cold or whatever they're in,'' Harris said. "(They can) get in a better state of mind.'' The new truck will also solve the problem of split- ting equipment between two trucks. It has extra space available to carry an assortment of tools for vehicle extrication or road rescue. Equipment the truck carries includes axes, pike poles and ladders. With the recent increase in flooding situations in the Hope Mills area, the new truck will provide a needed benefit. "We can actually put an inflatable boat on top of the truck,'' Harris said. "It will increase our water rescue capability.'' Harris said firefighters won't need additional train- ing when the new truck arrives as all of the Cotton firefighters are already schooled in taking advantage of the truck's various capabilities. Since Cotton Fire Station serves not just Hope Mills but a good portion of the southern end of Cumberland County, the new truck will be a benefit to many, Harris said, in a variety of situations. "We can put more manpower on that truck,'' he said. Meetings For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. • Board of Commissioners Saturday, March 9, 8 a.m., Camp Rockfish Retreat Center (Budget workshop for fiscal year 2019-20) • Fayetteville-Cumberland County Human Relations Commission urs- day, March 14, 5:30 p.m., Luther Board Room, Town Hall Activities • Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Senior programs at the Parks and Recre- ation Center. e Senior programs for people ages 55-plus who are residents of Cumberland County have resumed. e rec center was closed in mid-Septem- ber after Hurricane Florence. Various activities are now back and are scheduled Monday through Friday throughout the day. For details on times and days, check the schedule at www.townofhopemills.com, call the rec center at 910-426- 4109, or email Kasey Ivey at kivey@townofhopemills.com. • Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio's, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240. Promote yourself Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com. CALENDAR Cotton Fire Department adds needed new truck by EARL VAUGHAN JR. NEWS Hope Mills News & Views

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