By Lee Weyhrich
The Palmerdale and Center Point fire departments received $12,000 each from the Pinson City Council on Thursday.
Both fire departments intend to use the money for new equipment.
Palmerdale is in need of a new defibrillator. New machines cost in excess of $30,000. The fire department will use between $8,500 and $10,000 of its money to buy a refurbished defibrillator. Palmerdale is in need of a new stair chair as well, a gurney-like system that provides a safer method of carrying patients on stairs. These carriers can cost more than $2,000.
Much of the funding for Center Point Fire District will go toward upgrading the department’s air bag system. Air bags are used to lift a vehicle when a person has become trapped beneath it. With the recent rash of car-related deaths in Pinson, Palmerdale Fire Chief Jason Howell felt the bags were necessary
“This job’s getting harder every day,” Howell said, referencing recent fatal crashes.
Any money left over would be used for station improvements.
“When we built Station 2, we didn’t have a contractor. We did the work,” Howell said. “We’re the janitors, the painters, the electricians and the painters.”
Both departments are classified as ISO 4. ISO is an insurance rating company that determines the quality of fire service for a given area with “1” being a near-impossible standard of excellence and “10” being no coverage at all. The ISO classification of a department’s coverage affects a homeowner’s insurance, among other things. Four is considered very good.
Both fire departments were recently called on to help mitigate the damage caused by the recent wind storms. Pinson Mayor Hoyt Sanders complimented the departments on the job they had done for the city, as well as their interdepartmental cooperation.