By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Four Atmore City Council members gave unanimous approval during their Monday, January 9, meeting to the purchase of a “cascade system” for the city fire department. (District 5’s Chris Harrison had a work conflict and did not attend.)
The $31,750 purchase, made off the state bid list from NAFECO, will allow city firefighters to maintain on-site a steady supply of breathing air when fighting a fire. They currently have to drive back and forth from a fire site to AFD headquarters to refill air bottles during a major fire.
The need for such a system was magnified January 6 when AFD personnel had to make five such trips to keep firefighters supplied with fresh oxygen during a fire at the Tiger-Sul fertilizer plant. Peebles said AFD firefighters and those from three other agencies used “over 100 bottles” of air during that fire.
“The system will be on a trailer,” the fire chief said. “That way, we can take it to the scene and instead of driving three miles to the station to refill bottles, we can refill them at the scene. That will be a big time-saver and will make sure our guys have the air they need, when they need it.”
The system is comprised of a 14-foot mobile air trailer with 10 oxygen cylinders. The fire chief said that would provide AFD personnel with the ability to fill “between 110 and 120 bottles” at the scene of a fire or other disaster.
In other business conducted during Monday’s meeting, Mayor Jim Staff and the council:
*Approved a resolution authorizing Civil Southeast, the city’s engineering firm, to apply for Rebuild Alabama Act grants that will pay most of the anticipated $343,740 needed to resurface the city’s portion of Ross Road and improve drainage from the road. If such a grant is awarded, the city will have to pay $75,700 of the cost.
*Issued a proclamation designating January Blood Donor Month within the city.
*Heard from Escambia County Industrial Development Authority economic development recruiter Jess Nicholas that the county had been approved for one of several broadband grants that will eventually supply internet service countywide. (In next week’s edition, Atmore News will have more on the grant, its planned implementation and two scheduled meetings to obtain public comment.)