By Patrick McCallister
For Hometown News
HOLLY HILL - The city commission gave Chief Ron Spencer permission to get a new ride for the firefighter/EMTs. In coming weeks, the Holly Hill Fire Department will add a fast-attack vehicle to its emergency tool chest.
"It's going to be designated Attack 96," he said.
The department spent $46,700 to get a 2012 Ford F-550 Super Duty with a flatbed. It'll add about $13,000 of modifications to make it ready to fight fires and carry medical supplies. The chief explained plans for the fast-attack vehicle at the Holly Hill City Commission's last regular meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 9.
"It's capable of handling small fires and EMT calls," he told commissioners.
Commissioner Donnie Moore works as a firefighter/EMT in Daytona Beach. He was on the Holly Hill department from 1995 to 2002.
"We're getting a lot of bang for our buck," Mr. Moore told fellow commissioners. He later told the chief, "Your fire department is pretty busy."
In an interview after the meeting, Chief Spencer said the department responded to 2,409 calls in fiscal year 2011-2012, which ended Sept. 30. Some of those calls were outside the city limits. Holly Hill has mutual-aid agreements with Volusia County, Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.
Other departments responded to 704 calls in Holly Hill.
Holly Hill has two fire engines - one it regularly uses and another in reserve. In addition to a 2001 Pierce Saber the department regularly uses, it has a 1993 engine.
"(The reserve engine is) way, way past its effectiveness," the chief said. "We only use it as a backup only if the other engine has to go in for any maintenance or repair."
The repairs are getting more frequent.
"It's almost 12 years old," Chief Spencer said. "We've had a need for a vehicle like this for several years."
The fire department has 15 members; 13 operational personnel, an administrator and a part-time fire inspector. Chief Spencer said instead of four firefighter/EMTs on one truck, crews will be split between the current engine and the new fast-attack vehicle. He said about 90 percent of calls are for medical services that don't need the large engine. The new vehicle should be in use by December.