Henry County commissioners voted on Tuesday, September 15, to approve lease agreements for new apparatus in the Henry County Fire Department. The vehicles replace a heavy rescue — more commonly referred to as squad — and ladder truck that are both currently out of service.
The new apparatus were on-hand for staff to see on Tuesday. They will be detailed by the leasing company prior to returning to Henry County ready for service in 45–60 days. The vehicles they are replacing are fifteen and sixteen years old.
By entering into a lease agreement for specialized vehicles instead of purchasing them, it allows Henry County to turn the vehicles in at the end of the lease for new equipment. This model was first implemented in 2017 with the lease of two ladder trucks.
The lease agreement also allows the county to expedite delivery of the vehicles, rather than wait the eighteen months of build time for a new ladder truck. The lease payment will cost the county less than the existing expense to maintain the older vehicles.
The county entered into a seven-year lease agreement for both vehicles. The first, for a 100’ ladder truck, totals $1,380,000 over the lifetime of the agreement. This vehicle will be positioned in Locust Grove to replace the previous ladder 2.
The second lease for the heavy rescue costs $634,900 over seven years. Upon arrival, the vehicle will go into service in McDonough as squad 1. Henry County operates two squads that respond to a variety of calls like house fires, technical rescues, and hazmat situations.
Federal grant to fund exhaust systems at stations
Henry County accepted a federal grant at its last regular meeting on September 1 to install vehicle exhaust capture systems at the county’s sixteen fire stations. This investment protects personnel from exposure to carcinogens that can cause an increased cancer risk.
The grant provides $725,272.73 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with a 10% or $72,527.27 local match. The cost to install the exhaust capture system varies based on the number of vehicle bays at a fire station and is estimated between $40,800 and $69,800 for each location.
This is the second FEMA grant awarded to Henry County in as many years following a grant for power cots and stretchers in FY 2018.