AFD Chief Ron Peebles and Mayor Jim Staff each confirmed that an Atmore Fire Department pumper, totaled while on its way back from a Dec. 31 structure fire, won’t be replaced. However, all its vital equipment and parts will be salvaged for application to what had served as the department’s reserve unit.
“We don’t really need (a replacement),” Peebles said. “We’ve got one truck that we hardly ever use, and it needs a lot of the things on the wrecked one, so we’ll take what we can off the wrecked one and use it for that one.”
Staff said the only holdup on stripping the totaled pumper and possibly selling it for scrap was a settlement with the city’s insurance carrier.
“It’s a good thing we had a spare,” the mayor agreed. “We’ll take the tires, pump and all the good stuff off the one that was wrecked. Of course, we haven’t settled with the insurance company yet, but the wrecked truck has good tires and the best pump we’ve got. That pump is the most important thing; it costs $700 to $800 just to have it tested. We can’t take that stuff off until the insurance claim is settled, though.”
Two volunteer firefighters escaped serious injury when the 1985 Hurricane pumper, which Staff said is valued at “between $12,500 and $25,000,” overturned after it ran off the side of Carver Street while being driven back from a three-hour battle with a Liberty Street house fire.
According to Alabama State Trooper reports, the firefighters “were returning from a call when (the driver) missed the road, applied the brakes too hard and slid off the roadway, losing control of the vehicle.”
The truck’s windshield was knocked out by the impact, and its left side was severely dented, especially the portion nearest the cab.
“We got lucky this time,” said Peebles. “The guys in the truck weren’t hurt too bad, and we had an extra truck that we weren’t using. It could have been a lot worse than it was.”