Jimmy makes an interesting point on the lack of fire hydrants in his neighborhood. Depending when an area was built determines if fire hydrants were needed. In all new construction areas and the new area of this neighborhood hydrants had to be installed this is why the nearest hydrant was 2000 feet away from Jimmy’s house. In older areas before the code change no hydrants were required. Many neighborhoods on the south side have no hydrant coverage because of this.
Now the county has known about this for years and done nothing to plan for the addition of hydrants in the many areas that have the required size water mains to make it work on the south side. County Fire officials have used money allocated to the installation of hydrants primarily in the northern part of the county as they (County Fire) made their moves that have ultimately ended up closing down the traditional volunteer service in the county. Money that was spent on elaborate over budget stations like the new one in Murrayville and the overpriced underutilized new tower could have been spent on upgrading a fundamental fire department need which is water supply. Tankers which can help are really not a viable alternative because of manning and budget issues. In fact tankers were never part of any plan this is why the district was a split district for insurance purposes.
Another interesting fact on the south end of the county is there is no longer an elevated platform assigned to any county station. The tower that was assigned to the Myrtle Grove station is now assigned to a station in the northern part of the county. This will directly lead to increased insurance rates at the next ISO inspection.
To say it’s the counties fault does have some relevance in this case as far as the water supply situation. County Fire is led by a Chief who has never been a line firefighter or officer but was hired because of his administrative background. (How’s that working for you?). There has always been a lack of decent oversight of County Fire by county elected officials and county upper management, this has led to questionable expenses in the purchase of a new station, fire trucks and other equipment and questionable personnel practices.. There has also been a complicit media that would do no investigation into any of the questions of bad management and malpractice that were raised last summer before the county failed to review the contracts with the four remaining volunteer companies. So in closing we the tax payers in the county get what we pay for and vote for.
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